Jesse Jackson, Jr. (Getty Images)
By USA TODAY
Former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in the investigation into his alleged misuse of campaign funds, a Chicago television station reported Friday.
Federal authorities declined to comment on the state of their investigation. Jackson's attorneys did not return telephone calls from USA TODAY.
The news of a plea deal was reported by WMAQ, an NBC station in Chicago.
A federal official with knowledge of the case said plea discussions were taking place but indicated that nothing was final.
Jackson, 47, resigned from Congress in November. He sought treatment twice for bipolar disorder at the Mayo Clinic and had been on medical leave since June when he stepped aside. The namesake son of the civil rights leader, Jackson was heralded as a rising Democratic Party star when he was first elected in 1995.
Although Jackson cited his health as a reason for his resignation, he had acknowledged for the first time that he was under federal investigation for allegedly misusing campaign funds to decorate his home and buy an expensive watch for a friend.
In his resignation letter, Jackson said that he was working with authorities to resolve the case. He said he was "doing my best to address the situation responsibly, cooperate with the investigators and accept responsibility for my mistakes."
Jackson also had been the subject of a long-running House Ethics Committee investigation stemming from allegations that he offered to raise money for then-Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich in exchange for appointment to the U.S. Senate. Jackson denied wrongdoing in that investigation.
More than a dozen candidates are running in the special election to succeed Jackson in the House. The Chicago-based district is heavily Democratic. The primary is Feb. 26.
Contributing: Catalina Camia