News / USA

Former US Congressman Pleads Guilty to Misspending Campaign Money

Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Pleads Guilty to Corruptioni
X
February 20, 2013 10:00 PM
Former U.S. Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. appeared in federal court in Washington Wednesday on charges that he converted a sizeable amount of his campaign funds to personal use. Jackson, the son of famed civil-rights leader Jesse Jackson, was accompanied by his wife who also had to answer charges in the same case. VOA’s Jeffrey Young has details.

Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Pleads Guilty to Corruption

TEXT SIZE - +
Jeffrey Young
— Former U.S. Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. appeared in federal court in Washington Wednesday on charges that he converted a sizeable amount of his campaign funds to personal use.  Jackson, the son of famed civil-rights leader Jesse Jackson, was accompanied by his wife who also had to answer charges in the same case.  VOA’s Jeffrey Young has details.

The former Chicago-area congressman walked into federal court Wednesday and pled guilty to criminal charges of misusing $750,000 dollars in campaign funds.

Jackson, who served in the House of Representatives from 1995 to 2102, entered guilty pleas to charges of conspiracy and filing false federal tax returns.  

His wife has agreed to plead guilty to the same tax charge.

Prosecutors say Jackson used the campaign funds to buy a Rolex watch, furniture, and a large collection of memorabilia from notables including Martin Luther King, Jr and action movie star Bruce Lee.

His wife Sandra is accused of using the campaign funds to buy furs and other clothing.

After Jackson’s court appearance, his attorney, Reid Weingarten said the former congressman has acknowledged his corrupt behavior

“Jesse needed to come to terms with his misconduct. And, those who were in court saw that he did precisely that. He had to come to terms for conduct that people who care about him find very hard to understand,” Weingarten said.

Prosecutors are recommending a prison sentence for Jackson of 46 to 57 months.  

He will also forfeit $750,000 to reflect the campaign funds taken, and will also hand over a sizeable portion of his memorabilia collection. Formal sentencing will take place on June 28.

Once a rising star in the Democratic party, Jackson’s misuse of publicly collected campaign funds clearly fits the classic definition of corruption, according to Georgetown University public policy professor Mark Rom:

“The key thing is - does the transaction produce harm to the public interest? Does that transaction involve a misuse of power, of public authority, for private gain? That’s what makes it a corrupt act,” Rom said.

Jackson has also reportedly suffered from mental health problems. He was on medical leave from Congress from June of 2012 through the November election, after which he resigned his seat for personal reasons.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid