At PJ Tatler:
The tentative deal includes:
–Jackson resigning for health reasons.
–His pleading guilty to charges involving misuse of campaign funds.
–The congressman’s repayment of any contributions that were converted to personal use, such as home furnishings, improper travel or gifts.
At least some jail time would appear to be inevitable for Jackson, the son of civil-rights icon Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. and spouse of Chicago 7th Ward Ald. Sandi Jackson.
Webb was also involved in the high-profile political plea deal for the late Dan Rostenkowski, who pleaded guilty to converting a congressional postage allowance into cash for himself. Rostenkowski got 17 months in jail but kept his $126,000-a-year pension for the rest of his life.
The onetime chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee died two years ago.
Jackson’s pension for 17 years in Congress would be between 65,000 and $80,000 a year, plus health benefits. But he’s only 47 and won’t be eligible for pension payouts until 62.
Jackson’s pension is also part of the current negotiations.
Jackson easily won re-election despite being readmitted to the Mayo clinic to continue treatment for bi-polar disorder. There have been persistent reports from those who have seen the congressman that it was unlikely that his health would allow him to return to congress anyway. Jackson took a leave of absence from the House last June.
Being nuts is not in and of itself a disqualification to political office in Chicago, of course. Witness the judge just returned to the bench by voters there whose legal defense against a couple of crimes is based on her having been "legally insane":
Hours after winning reelection, a Chicago Illinois judge faced a court on charges of assaulting a police officer, court proceedings.
The Cook County judge was reelected Tuesday despite being suspended from the bench. She appeared in court a few hours later as a defendant in a battery case that her said she should be released because his client was legally insane at the time of the assault.
Judge Cynthia Brim, 54, whose 18-year tenure was marked by controversy, told reporters as she left a court Wednesday that she was pleased with the election results on Tuesday night.
"I'm happy that people voted for me again," Brim, who was suspended from her $182,000 a year job in March, said. She was removed after a wild week in which she launched into a rambling 45 minute speech and then a day after she was accused of pushing a deputy in the Daley Center.
Shortly after being charged with misdemeanor battery, a panel of judges who oversaw her entry barred her from County Courthouse without a police escort. But neither that, nor the fact that many bar associations have recommended since 2000 that voters throw Brim from the bench, prevented her from keeping her seat on Tuesday.
How else would a Chicago judge be insane, after all?