- Created on 29 October 2013
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
CHICAGO (AP) — Former Illinois U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has reported to a North Carolina federal prison to serve a 2 1/2-year prison term for misusing campaign funds, a prison official said Tuesday.
The 48-year-old Chicago Democrat was in federal custody Tuesday morning, according to Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke. The official declined to offer details, including when Jackson had initially reported to prison.
Jackson, who pleaded guilty in February to conspiring to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses, reported to Butner Correctional Center near Raleigh, N.C., said Ed Ross, another prison spokesman.
"Congressman Jackson and I have been good friends for many years and I am happy to report that he is in good spirits, all things considered," Butterfield said in a statement.
Jackson's wife, Sandi, was sentenced to a yearlong sentence for filing false tax returns. In a concession to their two school-aged children, the judge allowed the Jacksons to stagger their sentences.
Court documents were never clear about when Jackson must report.
In her sentencing order written earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington said he would have "to surrender for service of sentence no earlier than Nov. 1, 2013."
A Bureau of Prisons website says Jackson's inmate number is 32451-016.
Jackson used campaign money to buy a $43,350 gold-plated, men's Rolex watch and $9,587.64 on children's furniture, according to court papers filed in the case. His wife spent $5,150 on fur capes and parkas, the document said.
Jackson asked to serve his time in Alabama, while his wife's attorney said she'd prefer a Florida prison. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons decided where Jackson is serving his term.
The son of a famed civil rights leader, Jackson, a Democrat, entered Congress in 1995 and resigned last November.
- Created on 28 October 2013
(Photo By Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) | Getty
Here's a change worth checking out: Chicago's flagship library is about to a multi-million dollar spruce-up.
The Harold Washington Library branch in the heart of the Loop will see $6 million in tune-ups thanks to TIF funds Mayor Rahm Emanuel has earmarked in his 2014
- Created on 25 October 2013
A women's shelter that has been a mainstay of Chicago's West Englewood neighborhood for decades is now fighting to keep its doors open as the bills continue to pile up while financial support has run dry.
The most pressing of those bills facing Clara's Place is a whopping $21,000 the shelter's founder and director Clara Kirk owes Peoples Gas, which last week shut off the shelter's gas service, leaving them without heat or hot water, DNAinfo Chicago reported Thursday.
Clara's Place, which houses 19 women and 23 children, is one of two shelters Kirk founded in 1987. As DNAinfo notes, her other shelter -- Clara's House -- houses another 38 women and is also in financial trouble, owing Peoples Gas an additional $11,000.
The shelters are completely volunteer-run and are, for many of their residents, a last resort for women struggling to get back on their feet.
"This is the biggest challenge I ever have faced," Kirk, 72, told the Chicago Tribune this week.
"I'm devastated," she added to WGN.
The shelter has struggled financially in recent years, facing fines from the city for building code violations and penalties from the IRS for being behind on payroll taxes. But the Chicago Sun-Times notes Kirk's work at the center has also received many accolades, including being awarded a Jefferson Award for community service in 1996 and being honored at the White House by President Clinton in 1998.
Peoples Gas says it has "been working with Clara's House since April regarding four accounts, all of which are in substantial arrears," NBC Chicago reports. The utility says it will turn the heat back on once a payment arrangement is agreed upon.
A link to make a donation via Paypal to the West Englewood United Organization, which operates Clara's Place and Clara's House, is available on the group's website.
- Created on 25 October 2013
Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is planning to sell his family's Washington, D.C. home in order to help foot the bill of the $750,000 in fines he owes the government after being convicted of illegal campaign fund spending.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Jackson has agreed to pay $200,000 of the owed money by Nov. 1, which is also the date he's expected to report to prison in North Carolina to begin his two-and-a-half year sentence.
Part of that money was reported raised by liquidating an investment account. As for the other $550,000? Jackson's attorney is asking for more time -- until June 1, 2014 -- to pay the balance, after he sells the four-bedroom Victorian-style DuPont Circle town house, the Chicago Tribune reports based on court filings.
Jackson and his wife Sandi Jackson -- who has been sentenced to one year in prison in the same spending scheme -- briefly listed the home for sale last September, in the midst of the former rep's leave from Congress on account of his being treated for bipolar disorder and depression. The home was listed at $2.5 million but was withdrawn shortly after the listing went public and grabbed headlines.
Sandi is due to report to prison after Jackson completes his term, CBS Chicago notes.
The five-level home was built in 1921 and comes equipped with three full bathrooms, two half bathrooms, five fireplaces, a sunroom, a rooftop deck with a jacuzzi and a patio.