Chicago’s onetime political power couple appears to be a couple no more.
Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has filed for divorce from his wife, former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson, after 25 years of marriage, Cook County court records show.
Jackson Jr. filed a certificate of dissolution of marriage on Monday, according to the county’s electronic court docket. Citing “irreconcilable differences” with his wife, he began the proceedings to divorce in Cook County in July, as Sandi Jackson was wrapping up a prison term she completed in October.
Sandi and Jesse Jackson both pleaded guilty in August 2013 to various schemes relating to the looting of his congressional campaign fund. The former South Side 7th Ward alderman and the former 2nd Congressional District lawmaker each went to prison for diverting $750,000 from campaign funds for their personal use between 2005 and 2012.
The former congressman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit false statements and mail and wire fraud, his wife to filing a false federal income tax return.
A judge allowed the Jacksons to stagger their sentences so one parent could remain with their son and daughter, both of whom are under 18. Jackson Jr., now 51, wants the children to live with him, according to court documents in the divorce case.
He was given a 30-month sentence, but with time off for good behavior and completion of a substance-abuse program, he served only 23 months ending in September 2015 to return to Washington, D.C., where the couple own a home in the DuPont Circle neighborhood.
Sandi Jackson, now 53, went to prison after that, serving a one-year sentence.
Reached Monday evening, Jackson’s father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, declined to comment.
On his Facebook page, Jesse Jackson Jr. listed his relationship status as “separated.”
According to the divorce case files, Jackson Jr. subpoenaed copies of his wife’s emails sent from prison, as well as text messages and call records from her Verizon cellphone dating back to January 2011.
Sandi Jackson sought an extension to respond to the proceedings in September because she was “presently incarcerated in Alderson, West Virginia and it is very difficult for her to participate in this matter,” filings show.
She filed a motion to dismiss the case in November due to “lack of subject matter jurisdiction,” and the next hearing was scheduled for Jan. 4, 2017.
Source: Chicago Sun Times | Mitchell Armentrout