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Judge eases house arrest for Cicero pastor

Bishop Herman Jacksarrives Federal Building Wednesday May 15 2013.  |  Sun-Times library

Bishop Herman Jackson arrives at the Federal Building on Wednesday, May 15, 2013. | Sun-Times library

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Updated: June 18, 2013 7:26AM

The leader of a Cicero church facing a federal fraud indictment will continue to call his house of worship home after a judge refused to let him live with family in Georgia while awaiting trial.

Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman did, however, tell Herman Jackson he can move freely about the Chicago area for 12 hours a day, and she gave him permission to visit his wife, co-defendant Jannette Faria, around Memorial Day and Father’s Day.

“She can come here also,” Coleman told Jackson, known as the bishop of the Ark of Safety Apostolic Faith Temple in Cicero.

Jackson will remain on electronic monitoring.

Faria, who is living in Georgia while awaiting trial, attended her husband’s hearing at the Dirksen federal courthouse Wednesday. Seated in front of her husband, she reached behind to hold his hand before it began and smiled through tears as the judge made her ruling. When it was over, the couple embraced.

A federal grand jury charged both in October for their roles in a scheme to forge applications from parents of children at various incarnations of the church’s day care seeking state subsidy payments meant to help low-income parents pay for child care.

Jackson wound up living in the church after the judge was told no friends or family members in the Chicago area were willing or able to take him in. The judge has said she doesn’t trust Jackson, and his credibility issues with her deepened when she found out the bishop has four children living in the Chicago area — not just one as she previously thought.

“There seems to be vacancies, gaps, in the information,” Coleman said. Later, she added, “There are so many little things that concern the court that are just a little bit off.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy DePodesta told the judge Jackson has “consistently demonstrated a pattern of deceitfulness.”

Jackson’s attorney said the bishop mentioned the children to a federal magistrate when he was first arrested. He acknowledged, however, that “candor is key.”

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