Mt. Vernon Register-News

State News

February 21, 2013

Chicago district disappointed in ex-congressman


Court papers said more than $60,000 was shelled out for restaurant, nightclub and lounge outings. Money was also spent on a washer, a dryer, a range and a refrigerator for the Jacksons' Chicago home.

Jackson even arranged for the use of campaign money to buy two mounted elk heads for his congressional office, according to court documents.

Jackson entered the courtroom Wednesday holding hands with his wife and looking a bit dazzled as he surveyed the packed room. He kissed his wife and headed to the defense table.

After the hearing he shouted to a reporter: "Tell everybody back home I'm sorry I let them down, OK?"

The Chicago Democrat disappeared from the public eye last June for a medical leave, though details on his condition and location were always scarce. Doctors later said he suffers from bipolar disorder and was hospitalized at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

His attorney said after the court appearance that Jackson's health is "not an excuse" for his actions, "just a fact." Jackson's father has said that his son remains under strict medical supervision.

One attorney, Reid Weingarten, told reporters after the hearing that there's reason for optimism.

"A man that talented, a man that devoted to public service, a man who's done so much for so many, has another day," he said. "There will be another chapter in Jesse Jackson's life."


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