Source says Jackson may return to Mayo Clinic
By Michael Sneed Sun-Times Media October 18, 2012 8:30PM
Updated: November 20, 2012 11:15AM
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-2nd), who has been away from Congress since mid-June and has not campaigned for re-election, may be returning to the Mayo Clinic for treatment of depression related to bipolar disorder, according to a source.
The source, who claims to have visited Jackson this week in Washington, D.C., said Jackson is “finding it difficult to continue his treatment because the press is staking out his (D.C.) home and making access to his doctor, who is within a short walking distance from his home, incredibly hard. He said his doctors are considering sending him back to Mayo Clinic for treatment.”
The source said Jackson sees his doctor twice a day and is trying “to stay focused and calm to enhance his treatment and is just following doctor’s orders.” He is not working and has no intention of dropping out of his re-election campaign, according to the source.
A recent Gawker.com report said Jackson was spotted recently having drinks on two nights with two different women at a beer bar in Washington. But he claims the women were “lobbyists ... friends,” the source said. “Jesse was not working, just catching up and chatting with friends.”
Gawker reported that Jackson and the women “didn’t appear intoxicated or loud but were definitely enjoying themselves.”
The Sun-Times disclosed on Friday that federal authorities have launched a new inquiry into Jackson’s possible misuse of campaign money. A later Wall Street Journal report said he was being probed for allegedly using campaign funds to decorate his D.C. house.
The investigation is nearing completion, and attorneys for Jackson recently sought assurance from senior Justice Department officials that they would not seek an indictment before the Nov. 6 election, according to the Journal. That request was refused.
Jackson also remains under investigation by the House Ethics Committee regarding an allegation by a close friend and fundraiser that Jackson offered to raise up to $6 million in campaign funds for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich in return for being appointed to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama.
Jackson’s wife, Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th), has said he may not return to Congress until after the election and would not campaign publicly. She described him a few weeks ago as deeply depressed and waiting for his doctors to clear him to return to work.
Jackson, 47, took a leave of absence in June, without public notice, for what his staff first described as exhaustion and later said was due to him being treated for long-term “physical and emotional ailments.”
He initially went to an Arizona clinic and was transferred in late July to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a mental illness usually manifested by extreme mood swings.
In early September, the Mayo Clinic released him, and he returned to his D.C. home for continued care. The couple put the house up for sale but soon withdrew it from a public listing and are trying to sell it privately to help cover the medical expenses related to his treatment, Sandi Jackson said.