Thursday, December 29, 2016
Former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson, who is seeking a divorce from ex-U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., said in court filings this week that he has income of at least $10,250 a month while she is out of work and has been borrowing from friends and selling her belongings to stay afloat.
Sandi Jackson filed for divorce in Washington, while her husband filed in Cook County. The former Democratic lawmakers pleaded guilty to felonies in 2013 and later completed staggered terms in federal prison.
A hearing in family court in Washington is set for Tuesday, while a separate proceeding is set for Wednesday in Cook County.
After 25 years of marriage, the couple is grappling with issues including custody of their children, ages 13 and 16, and her request for child support, alimony and attorney's fees. Where the matters will be heard is a key issue.
In addition, the couple's home in Chicago was purchased before they bought one in D.C., he said.
He said judges in deciding the jurisdiction for a divorce may consider where the couple lives, where their assets are and where their children reside.
Schatz said Jackson Jr.'s income was from disability payments, but said he could not specify the sum because he did not have the file in front of him.
Sandi Jackson, in papers filed in Washington on Tuesday, said her husband is living in a residence without a mortgage — an apparent reference to their Chicago home — and their other mortgage is in arrears.
Jackson Jr. has failed to contribute to the mortgage or any household expenses since September, she said.
Schatz refuted that, saying Jackson Jr. has been paying toward the mortgage and given money to his children.
Sandi Jackson's attorneys could not be reached Wednesday. She plans to ask that the Cook County case be dismissed, her filings said.
The case in Washington is before Judge Robert Okun, who ruled against Sandi Jackson's bid to seal court papers there. She had argued the couple and their children "may be exposed to unnecessary harassment" if records were public.
In denying her request, Okun said the case involves "two prominent public figures" and the materials "will be of interest to a wide audience, a factor that favors disclosure."
Jackson Jr. served in Congress from 1995 to 2012. She served on the City Council from 2007 to 2013.
They ran afoul of the law when he pilfered about $750,000 from his campaign treasury and she failed to report much of the haul on income taxes. He resigned from Congress after a leave of absence for treatment for bipolar disorder.