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SNEED EXCLUSIVE: Pending Jesse Jackson Jr. plea deal includes ‘significant jail time,’ source says

FILE - In this Oct. 16 2011 file phoRep. Jesse JacksJr. D-Ill. is seen during dedicatiMartLuther King Jr. Memorial Washington.

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 2011 file photo, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., is seen during the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington. A spokesman at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota said Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, Jackson has left the clinic, where he was being treated for bipolar disorder for the second time since taking a leave of absence in June. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

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Updated: March 8, 2013 7:49AM



Sneed has learned a plea deal is now on the table between former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and federal authorities probing allegations of campaign fund misuse.

Sneed is told the plea deal includes Jackson serving time in federal prison.

“Significant jail time is now definitely a part of the deal,” said a top Sneed source close to the probe.

“But I think [Jackson’s wife] Sandi, feels like she was thrown under the bus by her husband, ” now that a separate probe has begun on her, a second source added.

Sandi Jackson claims she was stunned by campaign finance abuse disclosures against her husband, who has been treated for mental disorders and allegedly spent $40,000 on a Rolex watch purchased with campaign funds.

This disclosure follows in the wake of an exclusive report Tuesday by Sneed and Sun-Times political reporter Natasha Korecki, revealing the feds’ financial probe of the once-politically powerful Jackson couple has evolved into two separate investigations, with federal authorities now taking an independent look at former Ald. Sandi Jackson.

Though Sandi Jackson was encouraged to become a Chicago alderman by her husband, the two passed like ships in the night, shuttling between their homes in Washington, D.C., and Chicago in order to be with their two children. Sandi Jackson resigned from her 7th Ward aldermanic position last month.

The federal scrutiny includes access to and use of her husband’s congressional campaign money, including credit card charges, as well as the movement of money from one account to another, sources say.

In his resignation letter, Jesse Jackson Jr. acknowledged a federal probe and indicated his attorneys were working with federal authorities on it. Federal sources cautioned, however, authorities were still weighing whether charges are warranted in Sandi Jackson’s case.

“They are trying to sort it out right now and trying to figure out exactly what to do with her,” said one source close to the former alderman. Sandi Jackson was advised to get a lawyer at least four months ago.

For years, Sandi Jackson was paid nearly $5,000 a month from her husband’s campaign fund through her consulting firm, J. Donatella & Associates. The payments continued, even after Jesse Jackson Jr. checked into a mental health facility last year and — except for a robo-call — did not campaign for the Nov. 6 election, which he won.

Sandi Jackson did not respond to calls for comment.

The Ethan ending...

Tying up loose ends: The little five-year-old boy named Ethan, who survived a kidnapping by conspiracy-driven wacko Jimmy Lee Dykes, spent much of the time in his assailant’s handmade bunker playing with Hot Wheels cars and eating crackers. When he turned six Wednesday, the day after his release, cars were reportedly a part of the celebration.

◆Postscript: In case you missed it, the bus where Ethan was snatched from seat number one, has been retired in homage to the brave bus driver killed saving the rest of the children.

A do-over?

Watch for the Commission on Chicago Landmarks to re-evaluate their ruling Thursday denying the former Prentice Women’s Hospital landmark status, which was hoped to save it from the wrecking ball.

Last November, the commission recognized the building’s sculptural features and architect Bertrand Goldberg design, but decided Northwestern University’s proposal for a research center at the site — and the benefits to humanity that the center would bring — were more important.

I spy...

Two Chicago Cubs Hall of Famers stopped in to Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse on Kinzie Tuesday: Lunching was Ernie “Mr. Cub” Banks; dining later were Ryne “Ryno” Sandberg and his family.

Sneedlings...

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and former Mayor Rich Daley are honorary co-chairs of the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center’s Humanitarian Awards Dinner on March 6, featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward... Thursday’s birthdays: James Spader, 53; Garth Brooks, 51; and Ashton Kutcher, 35.



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