Friday, Jesse Jackson Jr pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds.
The plea is seen as an apparent bid to an end a federal investigation that threatens to also implicate his wife, former Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson.
According to the Daily Beast, both had left their offices in recent months, reportedly as part of the congressman’s negotiations with prosecutors.
For the scion of what was once the country’s most influential African-American family, the plea deal represents a precipitous fall from grace that overlaps with the ascent of another African-American Chicago family to the White House. The Jackson dynasty appears to be done.
“There was a time when Jesse Jackson Jr. saw himself as the first African American president and now he’s probably on his way to jail,” says Andy Shaw of the Better Government Association—a Chicago-based good-government group. “This is a major fall from grace—and a family tragedy.”
Jesse Jackson Jr. served 17 years in Congress, representing a seat so safe that he easily won reelection last November despite not campaigning due to a highly publicized hospitalization for bipolar disorder and other ailments. He resigned two weeks after Election Day.
Meanwhile, Jackson Jr.’s wife, a city alderman, gave up her post in January after the Chicago Sun Times raised questions about her use of campaign funds from her husband’s congressional accounts, including a $5,000 monthly consulting salary, credit-card charges and the moving of money between accounts.
Get more of this story at the Daily Beast.