Timeline: Jesse Jackson Jr. ’ s year
November 27, 2012 7:46PM
Updated: December 29, 2012 6:30AM
June 2012: Federal authorities believe Jesse Jackson Jr. was tipped off to a federal investigation sometime before June 10, which is the last day he was seen in Congress. His office does not disclose he is away from his post until two weeks later.
June 25: Jackson’s office first reveals he has been on medical leave for the previous two weeks. The disclosure coincides with a filing deadline for other candidates who would compete against the congressman in a Nov. 6 general election. In a three-sentence statement, his office reports he suffered from “exhaustion.”
July 5: Jackson’s office says he has checked himself in for treatment of long-term “physical and emotional ailments.” His exact ailment, expected return to work and whereabouts are not disclosed, but more than a month later, the family confirms he was at Sierra Tucson Treatment Center in Arizona, which specializes in mental health.
July 11: Another brief release states Jackson is being treated for a “mood disorder.”
July 13: The congressman’s mother, Jacqueline Jackson, tells a Rainbow/PUSH conference that her son has suffered years of “enormous disappointment” over his failure to become a senator or mayor of Chicago.
July 25: Jackson is quietly transported to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Two days later, his spokesman is still saying, “He is still in Arizona.”
July 27: Jackson first discloses that he is at the Mayo Clinic, after the Sun-Times reports it. The clinic releases a statement on Jackson’s behalf saying he is there “for extensive inpatient evaluation for depression and gastrointestinal issues.”
Aug. 8: Ald. Jackson tells the Sun-Times her husband could be home as early as Sept. 1 and will campaign “vigorously” for re-election.
Aug. 13: The Mayo Clinic reports that Rep. Jackson has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and is “responding well to the treatment and regaining his strength.” It also notes that the disorder is “most likely caused by a complex set of genetic and environmental factors” and says that the “gastric bypass surgery” he underwent “can change how the body absorbs food, liquids, vitamins, nutrients and medications.”
Sept. 7: Aides announce Rep. Jackson has been released from Mayo and is back with his kids in Washington, D.C. “Yes, he’s home in Washington,” spokesman Rick Bryant said. “Yes, he may be back to work on Monday” when Congress reconvenes.
Sept. 10: Congress returns — but Rep. Jackson doesn’t.
Oct. 3: Sandi Jackson says there will be “no last-minute switcheroos” with her husband on the November ballot — but also raises the possibility he may not return to work before the election.
Oct. 12: In a revelation that appears to stun even some of his staff, the Chicago Sun-Times first reveals federal investigators in Washington, D.C., are probing the congressman’s finances, including “suspicious activity.”
Nov. 6: Rep. Jackson, despite doing no campaigning and sending out just one robocall to constituents, is re-elected in a landslide.
Nov. 7: The Sun-Times reports Rep. Jackson is in the midst of plea discussions with the feds in Washington D.C. probing his alleged misuse of campaign funds.
Nov. 13: The Mayo Clinic says Rep. Jackson no longer is patient at the clinic.
Nov. 21: Rep. Jackson resigns from Congress, acknowledges a federal probe and his lawyers confirm he is in plea negotiations that could take months.