Sources: Congressman Jesse Jackson Junior in talks about possible plea deal

November 8, 2012 (CHICAGO)

"I'm furious at him. I am absolutely furious at him...because my confidence in him is gone," said Alderman Carrie Austin, 34th Ward.

Alderman Austin is outraged after learning that attorneys for Congressman Jackson and the Justice Department are discussing a plea deal about alleged misuse of campaign funds. That's information Austin says she did not know Election Day and she supported Jackson, even though he hasn't been working for months while being treated for bi-polar disorder.

"You see how much he won by, even at being ill and, as they were saying, absent. Even being absent, we still stood behind him. Then come out and say you're working a plea deal. How dare you!" said Austin.

ABC News confirms the Feds are focused on whether Jackson used campaign money to renovate the family's Washington, DC home, fly a mistress to Chicago, and buy a $40,000 Rolex watch for a female acquaintance.

"I think one of things that is likely being discussed is - is it a felony? Is it a misdemeanor? If someone pleads guilty to a felony, they can no longer hold office," said Patrick Collins, former federal prosecutor.

Jackson won re-election with 63 percent of the vote. But now there are questions about whether he'll serve out the term. Election officials want what's prudent for taxpayers.

"If something happened, and the timing could be the right timing to allow those elections to take place in the same days, there would be minimal extra cost," said Cook County Clerk David Orr.

Meanwhile, there is still support for Jackson.

"I certainly hope and pray that Representative Jackson will be well and he and his family will be able to withstand this crisis," said Congressman Danny Davis.

"I couldn't support him again, no matter what...because now I've just felt like I've been bamboozled," said Alderman Austin.

Copyright © 2024 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.