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Plea Deal For Jesse Jackson Jr. Includes 'Significant Jail Time'

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 7, 2013 2:30PM

Former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner tour a Ford Motor Company stamping plant in Chicago in April 2012. (Photo credit: John Gress/Getty Images)

Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed has learned that federal prosecutors have a plea deal for former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. that calls for what Sneed says is “significant jail time.”

Prosecutors and attorneys for phantom congressman, led by Dan Webb, have been negotiating a plea deal ever since Jackson discovered he was the subject of a federal investigation into how he spent his campaign funds. Webb, who earned his initial reputation in the Operation Greylord scandal, is no stranger to negotiating plea deals for elected officials, having helped negotiate the plea deal for former congressman Dan Rostenkowski in 1994. Prosecutors believe Jackson spent campaign funds on redecorating his home and on a Rolex watch for a female friend. It’s believed Jackson was tipped off on the investigation, which may be a reason why prosecutors are demanding an extended prison sentence

The transfer of campaign funds between his accounts and those of his wife, former 7th Ward Ald. Sandi Jackson, have also come under scrutiny. Sneed and Sun-Times reporter Natasha Korecki reported earlier this week that federal authorities have opened a separate investigation into Sandi Jackson’s campaign fund and her access to her husband’s fund. Sandi Jackson drew a $5,000 per month salary from her husband’s fund and filed a series of amended campaign disclosure forms in December that included $13,500 in previously undisclosed transfers from her husband’s campaign fund to hers.

Jackson Jr., in his November resignation letter, acknowledged the ongoing investigation and worded the letter to shield his wife from prosecutors. Sneed writes Sandi Jackson now feels she was “thrown under the bus by her husband” now that she’s being investigated.

Prosecutors maintain they’re uncertain on whether charges will eventually be filed against Sandi Jackson and will have to take into account the couple have school age children if they do pursue her.