BALTIMORE (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was released Monday morning from a Baltimore halfway house, where he’d been living since his release from an Alabama federal prison in March.
Jackson was released from the Volunteers of America halfway house shortly before 9 a.m. EDT and left in one of two black SUVs that were there for him.
Jackson, an Illinois Democrat, moved into the halfway house from prison, where he was serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence for spending $750,000 in campaign money on personal items. Jackson pleaded guilty to one felony fraud count in February of 2013 and began his sentence in November.
Jackson is the son of civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Jackson must spend three years on supervised release under jurisdiction of the U.S. Probation Office and complete 500 hours of community service.
At some point, it will be his wife’s turn to serve out her punishment on a related conviction. The elder Jackson has said he didn’t know when his daughter-in-law, Sandra Jackson, a former Chicago alderman, would have to report to prison. She was sentenced to a year in prison for filing false joint federal income tax returns that knowingly understated the income the couple received. In a concession to the couple’s two children, a judge allowed the Jacksons to stagger their sentences, with the husband going first.
Jackson served in Congress from 1995 until he resigned in November 2012. In June 2012, he took medical leave for treatment of bipolar disorder and other issues.
The Jacksons spent campaign money on fur capes, mounted elk heads, a $43,350, gold-plated men’s Rolex watch and Bruce Lee memorabilia, as well as $9,587.64 on children’s furniture, according to court filings.
Jackson’s resignation ended a once-promising political career that was tarnished by unproven allegations that he was involved in discussions to raise campaign funds for imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in exchange for an appointment to President Barack Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat. Jackson has denied the allegations.