WASHINGTON -- Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was sentenced to 2-1/2 years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to scheming to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items.
Jackson, the 48-year-old son of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, had been a Democratic congressman from Illinois from 1995 until he resigned in November. In an emotional speech to the judge, during which he choked up and used tissue to blow his nose, he apologized and said he wanted to "take responsibility for my actions."
"I misled the American people," he said.
According to court papers in the case, Jackson used campaign money to buy items including a $43,350 gold-plated men's Rolex watch.
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