Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was sentenced to 30 months in prison today for misusing $750,000 in campaign money on mink capes, mounted elk heads and other personal items. His wife, Sandra, was sentenced to one year in prison for filing false tax returns.
Both Jacksons entered plea deals earlier this year on charges related to the misuse of campaign funds and underreporting income on their tax returns. They also resigned from their positions.
In an speech at the sentencing hearing, the son of famed civil rights leader Jesse Jackson apologized and said he wanted to “take responsibility for my actions.
[Jackson] admitted that he and his wife used campaign credit cards to buy 3,100 personal items worth $582,772 from 2005 through April of last year – including $60,857 for personal expenditures at restaurants, nightclubs and lounges; $16,058 for personal expenditures at sports clubs and lounges; $5,814 for alcohol and $14,513 for dry cleaning.
Individual campaign credit card purchases included a $466 dinner for two of “a personal nature” at a restaurant; a washer, dryer, range and refrigerator for the Jacksons’ Chicago home; multiple flat-screen televisions, Blu-Ray DVD players and DVDs for their Washington, D.C., home; and a five-day health retreat for one of Mrs. Jackson’s relatives.
Jackson told another judge when he entered his plea that “for years I lived in my campaign.”
On Wednesday, Jackson asked that his family, in particular his son and daughter, not suffer because of his actions. He said he hoped his wife would get probation and that if that wasn’t available he would want to serve her sentence for her.
“Give me her time,” he said