Natasha Korecki and Michael Sneed, Chicago Sun-Times, February 4, 2013
A federal financial probe of the once-politically powerful Jesse and Sandi Jackson has evolved into two separate investigations, with federal authorities taking an independent look at former Ald. Sandi Jackson, sources close to the probe told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Included in the scrutiny of Sandi Jackson, who resigned from her 7th Ward aldermanic position last month, is her access 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. For Sandi Jackson, however, sources cautioned that the feds are still weighing whether charges are warranted and noted that prosecutors do take into account — in a financial probe — charging husband and wife who are also a mom and a dad. The couple has school-aged children.
Sandi Jackson for years was paid about $5,000 a month by her husband’s campaign fund through her consulting firm, Donatella & Associates. The payments continued last year even in the months that Jesse Jackson Jr. had checked into a mental health facility and, with the exception of a robo-call, did no campaigning for the Nov. 6 election, which he won.
A review of Sandi Jackson’s own campaign funds by the Sun-Times raises questions about the former alderman’s accounting.
Sandi Jackson’s 7th Ward committee, called SWIPO — Seventh Ward Independent Political Operation — shows a pattern of errors, including omitting disclosure of transfers from her husband’s congressional campaign fund, failure to disclose the purpose of credit card payments and claiming negative balances at the beginning and end of a reporting period.
On Nov. 27, days after her husband’s resignation, Sandi Jackson filed a correction for the final quarter of 2010. The corrected document submitted after her husband’s resignation showed an additional $20,000 in expenditures for that period and revealed $8,200 in transfers out of her husband’s congressional account.