Jesse Jackson Jr. relaxing poolside at posh hotel before serving federal prison sentence

August 30, 2013 8:41:02 AM PDT
In two months Jesse Jackson Jr. will be checking into a room at the Government Inn, but on Thursday he was staying at a much more posh property. Mr. Jackson was spotted poolside at a Southern California resort. Despite the photo, in a phone conversation with the I-Team, the ex-congressman says he is not there for rest and relaxation.

Mr. Jackson says he is taking "covering all his bases" before heading off the prison.

The deer-in-the-headlights look that Mr. Jackson exhibited two weeks ago when he was sentenced in Washington D.C. appears gone in a photo snapped Thursday afternoon.

The ex-Chicago congressman is seen lounging by the pool at the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel-- a popular outdoor gathering spot for the Hollywood Glitterati.

According to an onlooker, Mr. Jackson was overheard singing to himself and talking with other guests on the veranda.

When he was back in his room here, ABC7's Chuck Goudie had a conversation with Mr. Jackson about why he was in Beverly Hills, California.

Jackson said: "I am covering my bases considering my near future."

He said he came here to see Jackson family relatives who live in southern California, including the 68-year-old Charles "Chuck" Jackson, the younger brother of the Rev. Jesse l. Jackson.

He said, "My father's brother Charles had a heart attack, actually three of them, and given what I'm looking at, I want to make sure I spend time with him."

What he is looking at is 30 months in federal prison for diverting three quarters of a million dollars in campaign funds to personal purchases including celebrity memorabilia and a Rolex watch.

In court Mr. Jackson has suggested that his finances are drained. He told me that he came to California and the pricey Beverly Hilton with an executive of Anheuser-Busch beer.

Jackson is due to surrender to federal prison on November 1 and says that is the present plan. He said the date was unlikely to change because "it is out of my hands."

The former congressman sounded well put together in the conversation, spoke coherently and seemed keenly aware of his upcoming fate. There are no legal issues with Mr. Jackson being in California. The terms of his bond do not prohibit travel.


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