CHICAGO—Amid questions concerning her Congressman husband's whereabouts, Alderman Sandi Jackson (7th Ward) says she is dealing with hard times by working for the residents of her ward -- yet she was not in attendance at today's City Council meeting.
Jackson was a no-show at today's meeting, where Chicago Aldermen are voting on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2013 budget.
"All I can do right now is stay focused on the work that we're doing. That's how I fill my days," Jackson told WGN. "I know there are other families out there that go through personal trials and tribulations, but they still have to keep working, as mine does."
Despite those very words less than 24 hours ago, Jackson was not in attendance for today's big budget vote. In fact, she has missed several City Council hearings and commoittee meetings in the past four months. According to City Clerk records, she has the worst attendance record of all 50 Aldermen when it comes to full City Council meetings.
Some of her colleagues have speculated that her poor attendance as of late has a lot to do with her husband's legal woes. Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Illinois) is reportedly under federal investigation for misuse of campaign funds to redecorate their Washington DC home, and for also using campaign money to buy a $40,000 Rolex watch for a female friend. Alderman Sandi Jackson has now reportedly been pulled into that investigation.
Some of Alderman Jackson's colleagues were asked how they felt about her missing today's important budget vote.
"Of course we want all the Aldermen to be here to vote," said Alderman Proco Joe Moreno (1st Ward). "But I don't have any comment about her personal situation besides what I read from you guys."
"I think it's time for [them] not only to come out and talk to the people of their districts, but say 'Hey, here's what our plan is, here's what we're gonna do'," said Alderman Robert Fioretti (2nd Ward).
"All your comments should really go to the person who you're talking about," said Alderman Patrick O'Connor (40th Ward). "That's probably the best way to do it."