After nearly six months away from his job, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned from Congress Wednesday (Nov. 21). A spokesperson for House Speaker John Boehner confirmed to the Associated Press, that he received Jackson’s letter of resignation, ending the 47-year-old’s political career.
Ahead of an official announcement , Jackson’s brother confirmed the news to the Chicago Tribune via a telephone interview.
Jackson stepped away from his post in June over undisclosed ailments. It later came out that he was suffering from bipolar disorder and had been receiving treatment at the famed Mayo Clinic. He was released in late Summer, only to briefly return to the center in early October. The father of two was discharged soon after, but continues to undergo outpatient treatment.
Aside from issues surrounding his mental health, Jackson faced a federal probe over allegations that he used campaign money to cover personal expenses. His wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson , was also named in the inquiry for allegedly using official funds to decorate their Washington D.C. home, yet Jackson is said to be interested in copping a plea deal to end the matter.
In spite of his absence, and a far from squeaky-clean political wrap sheet, Jackson was re-elected into office in November. “My deep and sincere thanks to the people of the 2nd Congressional District, I am humbled and moved by the support shown today,” he said in a statement. “Once the doctors approve my return to work, I will continue to be the progressive fighter you have known for years. My family and I are grateful for your many heartfelt prayers and kind thoughts.”
Jackson was first elected in 1995 and is the son of civil rights figure, Jesse Jackson Sr. News of his resignation will result in a special election which– according to Illinois state law– must be held 115 days after a House seat is vacated.
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Photo: Chicago Tribune