Bishop accused of fraud says ‘wrath of God’ will visit fed judge’s home
BY BECKY SCHLIKERMAN AND JON SEIDEL Staff Reporters July 21, 2013 6:29PM
Bishop Herman Jackson arrives at the Federal Building in May. | Sun-Times files
Updated: August 23, 2013 6:20AM
A preacher ordered to live in his Cicero church by a federal judge has risked her ire by warning the Chicago Sun-Times that “the wrath of God almighty shall soon visit her home.”
Alleged fraudster Herman Jackson insists his ominous warning was “not a threat” against Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman.
But Jackson, who calls himself a bishop, said: “Because of Judge Sharon Coleman’s continual mocking of God’s ecclesiastical order and the sanctity of family/marriage, the wrath of God almighty shall soon visit her home.”
He asked a reporter to read that statement back to him after he said it and then said it was correct.
Jackson’s anger boiled over Saturday after Coleman again refused to let him move to Georgia part time to be with his family there. She instead allowed him only a brief visit this week. He made his request in a motion to expand the conditions of his bond.
Matt McQuaid, Jackson’s attorney, later tried to smooth things over after he was asked about his client’s comment.
“Judge Coleman’s careful consideration of the motion to expand conditions of bond is appreciated,” McQuaid said. “Hopefully her accommodation and thoughtful solution will resolve Bishop Jackson’s family issues.”
The charismatic preacher has fought an increasingly erratic battle with Coleman since his October arrest cramped a lavish lifestyle that once included a small fleet of luxury vehicles, including two Mercedes and a Jaguar. A Bentley has been repossessed from his church, records show.
Forced to sleep in the church, where he allegedly masterminded a scam to swindle state day care funds, he previously apologized for an “emotional and disrespectful” courtroom temper tantrum when Coleman refused to let him move to Georgia in June. At the time, Coleman told Jackson and his co-defendant wife, Jannette Faria: “I’m not going to be manipulated by this couple.”
When asked if his latest comment amounted to a threat against the judge, Jackson said, “I was in prayer. This is what God told me. I don’t have the power. God has the power.”
His warning is unlikely to impress Coleman, who has previously cautioned Jackson that “there’s some danger in your words.”
Though Coleman was referring to her doubts about Jackson’s honesty, the 2005 murders of U.S. Judge Joan Lefkow’s husband and mother at her Edgewater home mean federal authorities in Chicago are sensitive to any perceived danger.
Jackson, who is known as the bishop of the Ark of Safety Apostolic Faith Temple, said he wanted to move to Georgia part time to help his 15-year-old son travel to classes. The judge allowed this week’s visit out of concern for his son’s safety, according to her court order.
But Coleman wrote in that order she “has concerns about Mr. Jackson’s ability to comply with bond conditions and to appreciate the severity and magnitude of the situation in which he finds himself.”