Local News

Jesse Jackson Jr. sentenced to 30 months; Sandi Jackson gets 12 months

A federal judge sentenced former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. to 30 months, or 2-and-a-half years, in prison for misuse of campaign funds.

His wife, former Chicago alderman Sandi Jackson, was sentenced to 12 months for tax fraud. Judge Amy Berman Jackson also ordered her to pay $22,000 in restitution, which is the amount she spent from her campaign as alderman.

The judge will allow Sandi to serve her sentence after Jesse completes his sentence. Sandi is to surrender 30 days after Jesse is released from a facility.

The judge didn’t agree with this but she said she is doing it to “accommodate” the family.

Sandi sentenced: “I stand before you today asking for mercy”

Before Sandi’s sentence was handed down, Judge Amy Berman Jackson said that even if Sandi didn’t know everything her husband was doing, she spent $22,000 from her aldermanic campaign fund on bedding,  spas and shoes.

Sandi also read a short statement in court: “I grieve everyday…over the mistakes… I stand before you today asking for mercy.”

In February, Sandi pleaded guilty to tax fraud. She stepped down from her 7th Ward Alderman position in January.

Judge to Jesse Jackson Jr: People say you’re “guilty of bad acts but you are not a bad man”

“This is a very sad day and a difficult case,” said Judge Amy Berman Jackson before she handed Jesse Jackson Jr.’s sentence down. She said she finds he is “genuinely committed”  to his work in Congress. But, she said he wrote checks and credit charges more than 3,000 times.

Talking about Jackson’s illness, she said “this disorder can not begin to explain” the multiple purchases.

“You are a member of Congress who never missed a vote,” the judge said, adding that she received letters from people implying Jackson is “guilty of bad acts but you are not a bad man.”

“But as a public official you are supposed to live up to a higher standard of integrity,” she said.

During his sentencing hearing, Jackson addressed the court and admitted fault:  “I misled the American people; I misled the House of Representatives;  I misled the media…I was wrong. I don’t fault anyone.”

The judge also ruled that Jackson does not have to pay restitution to his former campaign because it is now defunct.

In February, the 48-year-old pleaded guilty to using $750,000 of his campaign money for personal expenses—in many cases, on extravagant items such as a Rolex watch and Michael Jackson memorabilia. He resigned from Congress in November after 17 years in office.

–WGN-TV Producer Kelly Barnicle contributed to this report.


42 Comments to “Jesse Jackson Jr. sentenced to 30 months; Sandi Jackson gets 12 months”

    e w said:
    August 14, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    I feel that politicians who violate the public trust should have mandatory life sentences; no appeal, no parole.

      josetoyou said:
      August 14, 2013 at 1:37 PM

      I like that!

    becca said:
    August 14, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    now how long will they take to actually put him in jail. another 6 months
    while he gets his affairs in order? He should have been in jail months ago.

    derek said:
    August 14, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Two years in jail for a quarter million dollars, Not a bad salary.

    Oinktrotters said:
    August 14, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    He'll get out of jail and run for office again because that's all he knows and he'll win because people who vote for him only care what color he is.

    tjholt said:
    August 14, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    Too easy and the pile of excrement gets away with stealing 750K! Only in America and only crooked politicians seem to get these sweetheart deals. Should have been at least 10 years.

    DC123 said:
    August 14, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    Where is his dad and Rev AL protesting this?

    jnobfan said:
    August 14, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    He got off way easy. He would not have gotten that much money if robbed 10 banks. Stealing from the taxpayers to buy fur coats and other extravagant crap should get him at least 10 years and not in club Fed.

    sononthe_beach said:
    August 14, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    His dad used to accuse others of picking up apples off trees they didn't shake. Looks like Jr. gave that a new twist by picking up apples off trees he shouldn't have shook.

    fred said:
    August 14, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    what hippocripes

    KellyJ said:
    August 14, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Duke Cunningham’s cell is open, although it would be more prophetic to send him to the closest prison in his district…Joliet.

    Regardless of how far the apple falls from the tree, if the tree is a Granny Smith, the Apple will always be a Granny Smith.

    ml57 said:
    August 14, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    The pathetic part will be when the no-info voters of the 2nd re-elect him down the road.

    counter point said:
    August 14, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Now I'm depressed.

    Don Schmitt said:
    August 14, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Rev. Daddy and uncle Al should be there warming up the cells.

    al - chicago said:
    August 14, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Has to serve as another embarrassment for King Obama. Close friends, supporters, and the hand picked successor for Obama's senate seat. What they really are guilty of is Chicago political arrogance. Sentence should have been longer and stipulate that he no longer serve in any public capacity. Too bad he will no spend time in general population.

    urdrwho said:
    August 14, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    I suggest that the NAACP have the DOJ investigate, I think Al Sharpton should show up threatening that these two were victims of racism.

    Oh wait…..I think Al doesn't want to have the IRS turn their eyes toward him. Maybe Al cleaned up his act but at one time — "Government records indicate that (you know who) and his business entities owe nearly $1.5 million in overdue taxes and penalties."

    Nonyabisnass Patrick said:
    August 14, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    There’s been nothing good come out of Shitcago for 4 decades including the latest turd incarnation.

    Pedro Gonzales said:
    August 14, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    The wrong Jack$on is going to prison. Je$$e should be in solitary for life. He is one of the biggest Race and Poverty Pimps in the land. He has caused much of the Race problems in the big cities.

    josetoyou said:
    August 14, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    This sentence is not enough for the violations against the voters…
    It should have been at least 10 years, to make a point…politicians should keep their hand out of the cookie jar.

    vdeb80 said:
    August 14, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Again, this is just the tip of the ice burg. What about the bribe for 1 million dollars JJJ offered to Blago for Obama's senate seat, It was being offered via Blago's and Emanuel's federal taped phone conversation. It took them months to charge JJJ. I'm sure these financial fraud charges were a plea bargin to sweep the other illegal dealings under the rug and to cover up for Emanuel etc. Blag is the fall guy.

      anom said:
      August 14, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      Blago is the fall guy? Besides never having a bad hair day, he is as crooked as the rest of them and deserves his stay at the IL Governor’s Club. Teflon Rahm is too connected and slippery – so far.

      Press said:
      August 14, 2013 at 2:24 PM

      Blag is a good guy who was set up.

    anonymous said:
    August 14, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Can’t wait to see what happens when they get out.they will still live a lavish life.anybody that doesn’t think their laughing their asses off at the justice system are fools!

    Press said:
    August 14, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    The Judge had to be paid off…without a doubt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Alleluia said:
    August 14, 2013 at 2:34 PM


    Tired of wa$te said:
    August 14, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    Typical chitcago politics. If I and my husband took that much money that didn't belong to us, wed be in jail for a helluva lot longer, kids or no kids. And I'd have to find someone to watch them while we were in prison. Tired of politicians thinking they are above everyone else. Their #hit stinks the same as everyone else's.

    No law n no order said:
    August 14, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    What a crock of bullshit I'm so enraged Illinois and Chicago politicians are so dam crooked its truly dispicable.no shame the judge should be thrown off the bench for this travesty.im a law enforment officer and I have no faith or trust in the legal or judicial system anymore in this country. The wrong people are getting arrested and going to jail.i should be all these crooked ass politicians who need long hard sentences.another example of corruption.iilinois has no shame.

    Chicago said:
    August 14, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    Jesse Sr will be next! Operation PUSH is the biggest scumbag, tax evading organization on the planet. The only people it helps are the dirtbags running it…Jesse Jr and phony sandi belong at 26th/Cal, not club fed

    Rizoy said:
    August 14, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    The things people do for money… It came back to bite them in the Ass!

    Diane said:
    August 14, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    How do they get away with not going to jail at the same time!! They should of thought about the kids before they did it.

    lol@america said:
    August 14, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    They didn’t want to hear his loud mouth racist dad crying if he got a longer stretch. Merica!!!!

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