Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Resigns From Congress

Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) has resigned from Congress, effectively ending what was once a promising political career.

Jackson Jr. tendered his resignation to House Speaker John Boehner, who confirmed the letter through his spokesman, Michael Steel, reports USA Today.

The Illinois congressman is the son of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson and was first elected to Congress in 1995. He has been on medical leave since mid-June, including two stints at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota where he was treated for bipolar disorder.

Jackson Jr. was easily re-elected during this month’s election, but now the position will be filled with a candidate selected through a special election.

The Democratic Representative was once considered a rising star in his Party, but has since been under investigation on allegations that he misused campaign funds. The congressman allegedly used campaign funds to redecorate his house and purchase an expensive watch for a friend, notes CBS News.

Along with the campaign funds investigation, Jesse Jackson Jr., whose resignation is immediate, is also the subject of a House Ethics Committee investigation that stems from allegations he raised money for former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich in exchange for an appointment to the US Senate.

Jackson Jr. hired former federal prosecutor Dan Webb to assist him in working out a plea deal for the campaign finance allegations. The deal will likely include jail time. It is also possible that the congressman’s resignation is part of the plea deal.

Are you surprised to see Jesse Jackson Jr. has resigned from Congress?