A friend said Friday the Jacksons, a political power couple in Chicago, "got carried away" in office. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/chicagopublicmedia)
By The Associated Press
CHICAGO - An attorney for former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s wife says the couple has supported each other through the legal ordeal that led to federal charges.
Jackson Jr. was charged Friday with conspiring to spend campaign money on personal expenses. His wife, former Chicago alderman Sandi Jackson, is charged with filing false joint tax returns. Sandi Jackson's lawyer, Tom Kirsch, tells the Associated Press that Sandi Jackson agreed to plead guilty to one count of tax fraud. It carries a maximum 3-year prison term.
Kirsch says the episode has been stressful for his client. But Kirsch also says the Jacksons have been supportive of one another.
A mink cashmere cape, Bruce Lee memorabilia, a Michael Jackson fedora and an Eddie Van Halen guitar are among property listed in a federal criminal complaint filed Friday against Jackson Jr. He was charged with spending $750,000 in campaign money on personal expenses.
The document lists a "football signed by American presidents," Martin Luther King Jr. memorabilia and four items purchased from a California furrier on the same day in 2009 for a total of $5,000. They included a mink cape and parka. The complaint states the property is subject to forfeiture if Jackson is convicted of conspiracy.
Jimi Hendrix memorabilia and Malcolm X memorabilia also are listed as subject to forfeiture.
U.S. Rep. Danny Davis said Friday it appears the former congressman "got carried away" trying to acquire political power. He said the charges "couldn't be more unfortunate," and he believes the Jacksons got caught up in bad decisions and the situation got out of hand. Davis said it's difficult to rationalize their actions.
Jackson Jr. said in a statement that he offers no excuses for his conduct and fully accepts responsibility for the improper decisions and mistakes he has made.