The contentious divorce case between former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., and his wife, former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson, is percolating again.
• Translation: Sandi Jackson, who is fighting her husband’s bid to have the divorce case heard in Chicago, just filed court papers claiming the former congressman is really a D.C. guy.
Residing in Washington, D.C., with the couple’s two children, Sandi Jackson claims her estranged husband has deep roots in the nation’s capital — where she wants the divorce case to be heard.
In the newly filed affidavit in what is still a fight over where the case should be heard, Sandi Jackson states: “While Jesse has some family who reside in Illinois, including his father, both of his parents also reside in Washington, D.C.
“Jesse is registered to vote in Washington, D.C.,” the filing continues. “Jesse’s intent to make Washington, D.C., his permanent residence is further evidenced by the fact that in 2013 he relinquished his Illinois driver’s license and obtained a Washington, D.C., driver’s license.”
Furthermore, “Jesse’s primary bank is located in Washington, D.C.”
Attorney Brendan Hammer, who is representing Jesse Jackson, tells Sneed: “It would take [retired White Sox catcher] Carlton Fisk to catch what Ms. Jackson has just pitched.”
Sandi Jackson’s filing follows one earlier this week from the former congressman, who said that the case should be heard in Cook County because Sandi Jackson launched her political career from the South Side home she shared with him, paid the sewer and water bills there while her husband was in prison — and let her sister stay in the house for “extended periods.”
Sandi Jackson’s attorney Jessica Bank Interlandi, of the Schiller, DuCanto & Fleck Law Firm, tells Sneed:
“This latest filing is Ms. Jackson’s response to Mr. Jackson’s claim that the Illinois courts have jurisdiction over her in this divorce pleading.
“The fact Mr. Jackson alleges he has lived in Illinois for significant periods of time and is a well known politician in Illinois does not give the court jurisdiction over Ms. Jackson. They raised their children in D.C., where they go to school, have always lived, and where they now reside.”
Both Jacksons pleaded guilty in August 2013 to various schemes relating to the looting of his congressional campaign fund. The former South Side 7th Ward alderman and the former 2nd Congressional District lawmaker each went to prison for diverting $750,000 from campaign funds for their personal use between 2005 and 2012.
A judge in Washington, D.C., last week ordered Jesse Jackson Jr.’s child support payments reduced by $1,200 — a court victory that his estranged wife’s lawyer said “shocked” Sandi Jackson and demonstrated the former congressman’s “unwillingness to make sure his kids are having what they need.”
Jesse Jackson Jr.’s attorney, in turn, argued that the former congressman has and always will support his children — “whether a court orders that or not.”
In the couple’s Chicago case, a Cook County judge last month ruled that former Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy and two other former police officers don’t have to respond to subpoenas issued by Jesse Jackson Jr.’s attorneys in Chicago. Lawyers for the targets of the subpoenas say their clients have nothing to do with the case. Cook County Judge Carole Bellows said she first wants to resolve the issue of whether the case should be heard in Chicago or Washington, D.C.
Court hearings are scheduled for Tuesday in both jurisdictions. Jesse Jackson Jr. — who still lives in the family’s Chicago home — has filed court papers in D.C. to be able to appear for the hearing there via telephone.
Correction: An earlier version of this story attributed statements to Jesse Jackson Jr.’s attorney Brendan Hammer as being directly said by him when, in fact, the statements were a Sun-Times summary of a Jackson court filing.