(WASHINGTON) — A U.S. attorney Friday recommended a four-year prison sentence and the forfeiture of $750,000 for former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois.
U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen sought the 48-month sentence for the disgraced lawmaker in a sentencing memorandum filed Friday in federal court in Washington.
Jackson pleaded guilty in February to misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign funds to enrich himself. Among the items that the congressman bought with the money were a $43,350 gold-plated Rolex watch, fur coats and home furniture.
In a statement released by his attorneys in February, Jackson acknowledged making “improper decisions and mistakes.”
“Over the course of my life I have come to realize that none of us are immune from our share of shortcomings and human frailties,” Jackson said. “Still I offer no excuses for my conduct and I fully accept my responsibility for the improper decisions and mistakes I have made. To that end I want to offer my sincerest apologies to my family, my friends, and all of my supporters for my errors in judgment and while my journey is not yet complete, it is my hope that I am remembered for all the things that I did right.”
Jackson resigned from Congress last November only weeks after winning re-election in a landslide. He represented the Second District in Illinois, a district that includes a large part of Chicago’s South Side and southeast suburbs.
The son of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, Jackson Jr. mysteriously left Congress in June of 2012 to seek treatment for exhaustion. After months of medical leave — he missed a whopping 230 votes in Congress — and stints at treatment centers in Arizona and Minnesota, the congressman was ultimately diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
While he confronted his medical issues, Jackson faced a probe by federal investigators into financial activity connected to his House seat and inappropriate expenditures.
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