CHICAGO – Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. quietly resigned Wednesday, effectively ending a once-promising political career months after the civil rights icon’s son went on a mysterious medical leave while facing separate federal investigations.
Just two weeks after voters re-elected him to a ninth full term, Jackson sent his resignation letter to House Speaker John Boehner, citing his ongoing treatment for bipolar disorder and admitting “my share of mistakes.”
The House Ethics Committee is investigating his dealings with imprisoned ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and for the first time Jackson publicly acknowledged reports of a new federal probe believed to be looking into his possible misuse of campaign money.
“I am aware of the ongoing federal investigation into my activities and I am doing my best to address the situation responsibly, cooperate with the investigators, and accept responsibility for my mistakes,” he wrote.
Jackson, 47, disappeared in June, and it was later revealed that he was being treated at the Mayo Clinic for bipolar disorder and gastrointestinal issues. He returned to his Washington home in September but went back to the clinic the next month, with his father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, saying his son had not yet “regained his balance.”
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has five days to schedule an election to replace Jackson after he receives official notice, and the election must be held within 115 days.