The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

November 22, 2012

Trouble not over for Jesse Jackson Jr.

— CHICAGO (AP) — Jesse Jackson Jr.'s resignation from Congress might end his once-promising political career but it doesn't mark the end of troubles for the civil rights icon's son.

Just two weeks after voters re-elected him to a ninth full term, Jackson on Wednesday sent his resignation letter to House Speaker John Boehner, citing his ongoing treatment for bipolar disorder and admitting "my share of mistakes" while confirming publically for the first time that he's the subject of a federal probe and cooperating with investigators.

Federal authorities are reportedly investigating Jackson's possible misuse of campaign funds and the House Ethics Committee is investigating his dealings with imprisoned ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. It was unclear how the committee would proceed following Jackson's resignation. The committee could still decide to release a final report on him but it no longer has the power to punish Jasckson.

Jackson, 47, was never charged with wrongdoing and in his resignation letter wrote, "they are my mistakes and mine alone."

Jackson's attorneys offered few details of the reported probe into misuse of campaign funds.

"Mr. Jackson is cooperating with the investigation. We hope to negotiate a fair resolution of the matter but the process could take several months," according to a statement from Jackson's attorneys, including former U.S. Attorney in Chicago Dan Webb. "During that time, we will have no further comment and urge you to give Mr. Jackson the privacy he needs to heal and handle these issues responsibly."

Experts said Jackson's resignation and confirmation of the federal investigation signaled more details would likely follow.

"I think it won't be too long before we hear an announcement of a plea agreement," said Bruce Reinhart, a white-collar defense lawyer in West Palm Beach, Fla., who was a federal prosecutor for 19 years. "The government doesn't like people who are going to plead guilty to abusing public office to remain in a position of public trust. ... Resignation would be a significant bargaining chip for Congressman Jackson in order to get a better deal from the government."

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