U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. deserves sympathy from voters and should not step down despite a criminal investigation into the possible misuse of campaign funds, Gov. Pat Quinn said Tuesday.
The governor stuck by the beleaguered Chicago Democrat, whom the Chicago Sun-Times reported last week is the subject of the probe.
Since then, the Wall Street Journal expanded on that by reporting that the investigation is focusing on home decorations that allegedly were purchased with Jackson campaign cash.
And on Monday, the political blog, Gawker, reported Jackson was been seen at a Washington D.C. bar last week, drinking with two women - despite being on leave from Congress since June to deal with what aides have described as bipolar disorder.
During a stop in Woodlawn Monday to promote state investment in broadband internet, Quinn was asked if Jackson should resign given the steady drumbeat of negative headlines.
"No," the governor answered. "He was elected by the people to serve his term. Obviously, he's had some heath challenges, and, you know, I think we need to be sympathetic to anyone who's dealing with those challenges."