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

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."

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.

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.

"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."

Contact Us