FOX 32 Sunday: Reporter's Notebook: Ald. Jackson`s resignation - Dallas News |

FOX 32 Sunday: Reporter's Notebook: Reflecting on Ald. Jackson`s resignation

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

In my reporter's notebook this morning, a sad milestone for what was once the "power couple" of Chicago politics.

Sandi Jackson resigned as alderman of the South Side 7th Ward, only six weeks after her husband, former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., quit Congress. With their smarts and their elegant good looks, they once embodied the promise of a new day in local politics.

Among the most exciting: they were going to redevelop the old U.S. Steel plant at 89th and Lake Michigan into a garden spot with lakefront concerts and thousands of new homes. I still hope that happens. But questions arose about the Jacksons' personal commitment to Chicago. I was always uncomfortable with the couple's decision to raise their children in Washington, D.C., and to spend most of their time there. Hey, there are good schools on the South Side.

Then, there was Ald. Jackson's attendance record at City Hall. Until her husband took his leave of absence last year, he hardly ever missed a Congressional vote. She, on the other hand, skipped hundreds of Council committee hearings, meetings and votes over the years; last year missing an incredible 94% of them, according to records in the City Clerk's office.

When I reported exclusively last month that Ald. Jackson was preparing to resign, she convened a news conference to deny it. Sources had told me she was preparing for her husband possibly to cut a plea deal with federal investigators and go to prison.

Perhaps Sandi Jackson's resignation, which takes effect Wednesday, signals that her husband's plea bargaining negotiations have reached a critical point. We'll soon know. Let's hope Mayor Emanuel appoints a new alderman filled with promise of his or her own.

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