Jesse Jackson Jr. negotiating plea deal, report says

9:39 AM, Nov 12, 2012   |    comments
Jesse Jackson, Jr. (Getty Images)
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By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY

When the U.S. House returns to work on Tuesday, will Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. be among his colleagues?

The Illinois Democrat has been on medical leave since June 10 and was easily re-elected last week.

Now there are reports that Jackson is negotiating a plea deal on allegations that he misused campaign funds to decorate his house and buy an expensive watch for a female friend.

CBS News reported this weekend that Jackson's lawyers are working on a deal that would include the congressman's resignation from Congress and "likely jail time." The negotiations with the U.S. Justice Department are being handled by Dan Webb, a prominent white-collar criminal defense attorney and former federal prosecutor.

Jackson, first elected in 1995, won about 63% of the vote last week in the 2nd Congressional District. He spent several weeks this year at the Mayo Clinic receiving treatment for bipolar disorder and gastrointestinal issues.

Webb worked out a plea deal in the 1990s for former House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, the legendary Chicago congressman caught up in a scandal involving the House post office. Rostenkowski eventually pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud and served 15 months in federal prison. He died in 2010.

USA TODAY

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