Jesse Jackson Jr. signs plea deal in federal probe - FOX 35 News Orlando

Jesse Jackson Jr. signs plea deal in federal probe

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

FOX News confirms former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. has signed a plea deal in the federal investigation of his alleged misuse of campaign funds. Jail time has yet to be assigned.

Reports say Jackson would plead guilty under this deal, and repay the government hundreds of thousands.

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed reported Thursday that Jackson was negotiating a deal that included significant jail time. But relative to the crimes he is accused of, that time is estimated to be just over a year or two at most.

SEE: Jackson Jr. plea deal includes time in federal prison: Sun-Times

FOX 32's Darlene Hill reported exclusively Thursday night that Jackson would receive a disability package as part of the plea deal, along with a pension worth 85% of his pay.

EXCLUSIVE: Jesse Jackson Jr. to receive disability pay from Congress

FOX 32 reported that before handing in his letter of resignation in October, Jackson applied for a disability package. Sources said he received the approval letter for disability pay days before officially leaving Congress.

Jackson resigned from Congress after serving Illinois' 2nd district since 1995. He took a medical leave of absence early in 2012, and did not address the public as to why until June. The former congressman received treatment for bi-polar disorder at the Mayo Clinic during leave.

A federal probe into the alleged misuse of his campaign funds was made public in November of last year. The feds were investigating whether he used the money to purchase a $42,000 Rolex for a female friend, to pay for trips with that friend and whether the funds were used to decorate the Jacksons' South Shore bungalow.

Sources also told FOX 32 that to shave time off his sentence, Jackson may be naming names and giving the feds info on big contributors to his campaign.

If he is convicted of these crimes, he will lose his pension.

Jackson's wife, former 7th ward alderman Sandi Jackson, resigned from City Council in January. She is the target of a separate federal investigation, which is looking into her alleged role in the misuse of Jackson Jr.'s campaign funds. Sandi was a paid consultant for his campaign operation, receiving $5,000 a month for her work.

She has hired on an attorney and has already met with the feds. She has not been charged.

Former federal prosecutor Ron Safer told FOX 32 that he believes any plea bargain would also involve Sandi Jackson. He said he would expect Jackson Jr.'s attorneys to ask that the plea deal would wrap up the entire case, including the probe into his wife's involvement.

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