Jesse Jackson Jr. Resigns

Chicago congressman cites his health problems

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 21, 2012 1:32 PM CST | Updated Nov 21, 2012 2:44 PM CST

(Newser) – Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned from Congress today, reports the Chicago Sun-Times and Tribune. Jackson had originally intended to hold a press conference to announce as much, but reportedly couldn't bring himself to do so thanks to his bipolar disorder. Jackson won reelection on Nov. 6, even though he didn't campaign for it and has been on leave from Congress since June. The 47-year-old is under investigation from the House Ethics Committee for his part in the Rod Blagojevich scandal and, separately, for the alleged misuse of campaign money.

In his resignation letter, Jackson blamed his health problems for the decision to resign but acknowledged the federal investigation involving campaign cash. "I am doing my best to address the situation responsibly, cooperate with the investigators, and accept responsibility for my mistakes, for they are my mistakes and mine alone," he wrote. "None of us is immune from our share of shortcomings or human frailties and I pray that I will be remembered for what I did right." Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn will schedule a special election to fill Jackson's seat, notes AP.

In this Jan. 5, 2011 file photo, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., is pictured before a ceremonial swearing in of the Congressional Black Caucus on Capitol Hill.
In this Jan. 5, 2011 file photo, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., is pictured before a ceremonial swearing in of the Congressional Black Caucus on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
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