BREAKING: U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. To Resign (UPDATED)
By Samantha Abernethy in News on Nov 21, 2012 7:00PM
***We will update this post as news comes in. Please check back for constant updates.***
Update as of 1 p.m.: According to the Sun-Times, a source says U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) will hand in his letter of resignation to House Speaker John Boehner within the hour. The Tribune cited Jackson's brother Jonathan Jackson as the source.
Jackson Jr. has drawn criticism for the lack of transparency surrounding his leave of absence, which began on June 10. By announcing his resignation just hours before Thanksgiving, Jackson Jr. is even resigning in a way designed for secrecy by burying it in the news cycle, hoping we all forget by Monday.
Sources say Jackson Jr. is in talks with feds for a plea deal, which may include jail time. The congressman is under two separate federal investigations: One is related to his role in former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's plot to sell a Senate seat, and the other is accusations he misused campaign funds to redecorate his house. Jackson Jr. went on leave in June, but he waited two weeks before going public with the information, while leaving out many of the details of his health from the public eye. Jackson Jr. checked himself into the Mayo Clinic in July for depression and gastrointestinal issues. He was released in September, and he was reportedly back in Washington, D.C., but not back at work.
Despite his absence and lack of campaigning, Jackson Jr. easily won reelection on Nov. 6. Upon resigning, a special election would be held to fill the vacancy. Gov. Pat Quinn must declare the special election, and it must occur within 115 days.
Update as of 1:30 p.m.: A staffer from Speaker Boehner's office has confirmed to Politico that Jackson Jr. "has notified House Speaker John Boehner that he is resigning his seat in Congress."
Update as of 1:50 p.m.: According to the Washington Post, these names have been mentioned as potential replacements: Jackson Jr.'s wife Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th), Cook County Chief Administrative Officer Robin Kelly, state Sen. Toi Hutchinson and state Sen. Napoleon Harris. They also mentioned Mel Reynolds as a potential replacement — Reynolds served as congressman until he resigned in 1995 amid charges of child pornography and sexual misconduct with a 16-year-old. Jackson Jr. won in a special election for Reynolds seat. Attorney Sam Adam Jr., who has represented Blagojevich and R. Kelly, has said he is considering a run for Jackson's seat.
Update as of 3:15 p.m.: Read Jackson Jr.'s letter of resignation below, found via Politico.
Previous Stories on Chicagoist
- Jackson Jr. checked into the Mayo Clinic in July. (7/28)
- Jackson Jr. left the Mayo Clinic and returned to D.C. (9/10)
- Where in the world is Jesse Jackson Jr.? (10/4)
- Feds: "Suspicious Activity" in Jackson Jr.'s finances. (10/13)
- Jackson Jr. returns to the Mayo Clinic. (10/23)
- News Roundup: All Of The Latest On Jesse Jackson Jr. (11/14)