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Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

'I'm Sorry I Let Them Down:' Jesse Jackson Jr.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jesse Jackson Jr. sent a message back to Chicago as he left a federal courtroom Wednesday after pleading guilty to misusing campaign funds.

    "I love everybody back home," Jackson told NBC Chicago. "I'm sorry I let them down."

    Jacksons Plead Guilty

    [CHI] Jacksons Plead Guilty
    In separate hearings on Wednesday, Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Sandi Jackson, each entered guilty pleas to federal charges. Phil Rogers reports.

    Jackson acknowledged in court that he spent $750,000 of campaign cash on personal items and pleaded guilty to several charges, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and false statements.

    "For years I have lived off my campaign and used money that should have gone for my campaign," Jackson told the judge.

    Health Issues Related To JJJ's 'Present Predicament'

    [CHI] Health Issues Related To Jackson's 'Present Predicament': Attorney
    Jesse Jackson Jr.'s attorney, Reid Weingarten, told reporters Jackson has "serious health issues" that have been discussed with the courts. "Those health issues are directly related to his present predicament," he said. "That's not an excuse, it's just a fact."

    After the hearing, Jackson attorney Reid Weingarten told reporters "there will be another chapter in Jesse Jackson Jr.'s life."

    Weingarten said Jackson has "serious health issues" that have been discussed with the courts.

    Where Rahm Emanuel Stands On 2nd District Race

    [CHI] Where Rahm Emanuel Stands On 2nd District Race
    The 2nd District special election is a major race, partially in the city and partially in the suburbs, and Emanuel appears to be on the sidelines while the New York mayor is playing a major role. Mary Ann Ahern reports.

    "Those health issues are directly related to his present predicament," he said. "That's not an excuse, it's just a fact. Jesse has turned a corner there as well and there's reason for optimism." 

    Weingarten said they expect fairness in the sentencing process, noting Jackson should get credit for contributing much to his community.

    At this point, Jackson's biggest concern, Weingarten said, are his kids.

    "Jesse's many things, including being a terrific father: He has two small children, and we are hopeful that in short order or at least in reasonably short order, Jesse again will be a full-time, wonderful, caring, devoted dad."