State News

Ex-congressman reports to North Carolina prison

Posted October 29, 2013

— Former Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. has reported to a federal prison in Butner to serve a 2½-year prison term for misusing campaign funds, his lawyer and prison officials said Tuesday.

The 48-year-old Chicago Democrat was in federal custody Tuesday morning, according to Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke. He declined to offer details, including when Jackson had initially reported to prison.

Atlanta attorney and longtime family friend Tricia Hoffler said Tuesday afternoon that Jackson tried to report Monday afternoon but that "an administrative issue" delayed that until Tuesday morning.

Jackson said goodbye to his family on Sunday and drove from Washington, D.C., to Butner on Monday, Hoffler said. She and Democratic 1st District Congressman G.K. Butterfield accompanied Jackson to the prison.

Butterfield said his former U.S. House colleague was in good spirits, "all things considered."

"The sooner he reports, the sooner he'll be able to get back home," Hoffler said.

Jackson, who pleaded guilty in February to conspiring to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses, will serve his sentence in the minimum-security facility in Butner.

Jackson's wife, Sandi, was sentenced to a yearlong sentence for filing false tax returns. In a concession to their two school-aged children, the judge allowed the Jacksons to stagger their sentences.

In her sentencing order written earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington said Jackson would have "to surrender for service of sentence no earlier than Nov. 1, 2013." Hoffler said it's up to the Bureau of Prisons to determine when someone can report, and agency officials had no problem with him showing up early.

Butner prison sign Butner prison gets another high-profile inmate

A Bureau of Prisons website says Jackson's inmate number is 32451-016.

He will have to complete an orientation and a physical examination before he is assigned to a work detail at the prison, officials said. That could take up to a month.

Minimum-security prisoners do groundskeeping and other work around the prison.

Jackson used campaign money to buy a $43,350 gold-plated, men's Rolex watch and $9,587.64 on children's furniture, according to court papers filed in the case. His wife spent $5,150 on fur capes and parkas, the document said.

Jackson asked to serve his time in Alabama, while his wife's attorney said she'd prefer a Florida prison. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons decided where Jackson is serving his term.

The son of a famed civil rights leader, Jackson, a Democrat, entered Congress in 1995 and resigned last November.

Financier Bernie Madoff, who was convicted of defrauding investors through a Ponzi scheme, also is serving his 150-year sentence at Butner.

Israeli spy Jonathon Pollard, World Trade Center bombing mastermind Omar Abdel-Rahman, former televangelist Jim Bakker, Hustler publisher Larry Flynt and John Hinckley, who tried to assassinate former President Ronald Reagan, also have spent time behind bars at the prison in Granville County.

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  • wildpig777 Oct 30, 2013

    October 30, 2013 8:41 a.m.

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    In just about every embezzlement article you read, a minority is accused. Take the time to go through the Wake and Durham county arrests, and most will be minorities. Most of the criminals convicted of violent crime are minorities. There's a pattern here. Society has portrayed minorities as victims, and those who embrace their victim status believe they are justified in their actions regardless of society's rules.

    Click to view my profile

    there is a reason there is a disproportionate amount of minorities in relaton to the population. I think if one were to be honest with just a lil research one could discover why this is so. I think minorities know the answer. it is fair to say the family unit in the minority community is by and large dysfunctional and that condition CANNOT be blamed on white people--- tell me I am wrong.

  • WASP Oct 30, 2013

    Both parties have their prime candidates. None of them are worth a hill of beans.

  • Wake1 Oct 30, 2013

    So, she'd prefer prison in Florida??? Must be nice to have choices like that!

  • bmac813 Oct 30, 2013

    GravyPig, If he was a Republican he would have gotten 6 & 1/2 Years. But he is Jessie Son and a Lying Democrat. SHHHHHHHHHHHH

  • BubbaDukeforPresident Oct 30, 2013

    In just about every embezzlement article you read, a minority is accused. Take the time to go through the Wake and Durham county arrests, and most will be minorities. Most of the criminals convicted of violent crime are minorities. There's a pattern here. Society has portrayed minorities as victims, and those who embrace their victim status believe they are justified in their actions regardless of society's rules.

  • ncrcates Oct 30, 2013

    Time for my wife to cook some cookies so we can welcome the new neighbor. :)

  • GravyPig Oct 29, 2013

    "Still no where in the article does it mention he is a Democrat. Had he been a Republican the headline would have been"Republican reports to NC prison" Glad to see your standards has not changed - tommys5

    The 1st sentence of the 2nd paragraph: 'The 48-year-old Chicago Democrat was in federal custody Tuesday morning, according to Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke'."

    Some folks just have problems with simple reading and comprehension.

  • heelzfan4 Oct 29, 2013

    And this is big news why?? Regardless of political affiliation, He is a crook, he got caught, his father is blaming it on his "bi-polar" disorder, which is nothing but an excuse. His luxury stay will be over before he knows it.

  • cecil822 Oct 29, 2013

    "Weekend at Bernie's" takes on a different meaning for me now...

  • Paladin2 Oct 29, 2013

    Butner Prison: Home away from home for Democrats! And of course Butterfield is cuddling up to this Democratic jailbird!

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