Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) is under enough pressure and he's not about to pile on by demanding that she start fulfilling her aldermanic responsibilities.
Like her husband Jesse Jackson Jr., who resigned from Congress last week, Sandi Jackson has been a no-show.
On Nov. 15, Sandi Jackson was the only one of 50 aldermen who failed to cast a vote on Emanuel's $6.54 billion 2013 budget. She has also been A.W.O.L. at City Council committee meetings, community policing meetings and other neighborhood events.
On Wednesday, Emanuel was asked whether it's time for Sandi Jackson to start showing up and fulfilling her responsibilities to her impoverished Far South Side ward.
"I can make my decisions...how to balance my responsibilities as a father, as a husband and also with my job. I'm not gonna do that for Sandi Jackson. She's a mother. She's a spouse and she's a public official. She can best make that judgment. I can't," the mayor said.
"She is a valuable person who has done a great job as an alderman...Her family is facing a lot of challenges and she has to deal with that as both a spouse, a parent and, I think last, herself as an elected official. Now, she hasn't said that. But my guess, given what I know about her, that's how the order would be. So, she'll make those choices. I'm not gonna do anything that adds any pressure to her because she has enough right now. She has to do it in the interest of the children."
Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned from Congress last week, citing health issues related to bi-polar disorder and an ongoing federal investigation into his finances and campaign spending.
Federal authorities as recently as two weeks ago were still examining Jackson's finances - a review that has included activity involving Sandi Jackson.
Broad, sweeping subpoenas were issued in the Jackson investigation, including to financial institutions that controlled Jackson accounts both in and out of Washington, D.C., the Chicago Sun-Times has reported.