EXCLUSIVE: Sandi Jackson expected to resign from City Council - FOX 32 News Chicago

EXCLUSIVE: Sandi Jackson tells friends she’s ready to resign from City Council

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Friends of Ald. Sandi Jackson tell Fox 32 News she is preparing to resign from the City Council. They said she's unlikely to complete her current term and could be gone from Chicago next year.

One said Mrs. Jackson would "have no choice but to quit the Council" if her husband, Jesse Jackson, Jr., goes to prison. His lawyers are currently bargaining with federal prosecutors over a possible guilty plea. "If he ends up in prison, of course she'll quit to care for the children," one friend said.

No matter what happens, friends said Mrs. Jackson plans to continue raising her two children in Washington, D.C. Referring to daughter Jessica and son Jesse Jackson III, a friend reported, "Jess and Trey each like their private school. And the family can be much more anonymous in D.C. than in Chicago."

One sign of her growing detachment: records kept by the city clerk show Mrs. Jackson missed more than 93 percent of 58 City Council committee meetings so far this year. She missed Monday's meeting of the powerful Finance Committee.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Mrs. Jackson is a subject of the same investigation. It's reportedly focused on whether campaign funds were used improperly to rehab and redecorate one of the family's homes. Former Asst. U.S. Attorney Michael Monico told Fox 32 News that, if Mrs. Jackson did not have her own, separate defense lawyer, she needed one.

Her husband reportedly learned last spring that the FBI was investigating his finances. He resigned Nov. 21, issuing a written statement that confessed unspecified "mistakes" and confirmed the FBI's criminal investigation. Former Rep. Jackson also cited ongoing treatment of his severe bipolar personality disorder.

Friends said Mrs. Jackson has talked privately about a growing estrangement from her husband's family. "It's gone way beyond the normal tensions with the in-laws," said one.

Friends ridiculed any suggestion that she might run for her husband's former Second Congressional District seat. Website DNAInfo.com reported Monday that Mrs. Jackson declined to rule out such a race. "Never say never," she told columnist Mark Konkol.

Sources told Fox 32 News, however, that Mrs. Jackson "is doing absolutely nothing to prepare for a campaign." One added, "If Sandi runs for Congress, I'll jump off the top of the Willis Tower. Do you have any idea what she's facing right now? That's the last thing her family needs."

Later in the day, a spokeswoman confirmed that Mrs. Jackson had no intention whatsoever of running for Congress.

Her chief of staff, Keiana Barrett, said Ald. Jackson had a "scheduling conflict" that caused her to miss Monday's meeting of the Finance Committee. Instead, Barrett said, the alderman conferred with commanders of the Third and Fourth police districts. They discussed continuing violence in the South Side Seventh Ward and how to shut down criminal "hot spots." Barrett said Mrs. Jackson was proud that her office recently helped to close three troublesome liquor stores. Barrett cited, in particular, last week's shut down of South Shore Liquors, 79th and South Shore Drive.

If Mrs. Jackson were to quit the Council, Mayor Rahm Emanuel would appoint her replacement.

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