Ald. Sandi Jackson says she won't resign 'unless something catastrophic happens'

Ald. Sandi Jackson told reporters today that she won't resign from the City Council unless "something catastrophic happens," that she's not a candidate to replace her husband in Congress and that she's undecided about whether to move back to Chicago permanently from Washington, D.C.

Speaking outside her City Hall office, Jackson pushed back against the notion that she has neglected her duties as an alderman and missed important meetings while her husband, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., has been out of the public eye during his diagnosis of bipolar disorder and a federal investigation.

"I think my constituents understand this. I'm not going to respond to one or two people who have some angst about my attendance in City Council," Jackson said. "This has been a tough year for me, there's no doubt about that."

She contended that 7th Ward residents know she's working hard for them.

Asked whether she is considering resigning her council seat, Ald. Jackson acknowledged "it's been a very exhausting period for me."

"I think it's fair to say it would be hard for any family to go through what we've gone through publicly," Jackson said. "And so, there may have been times when I was overcome with exhaustion."

Later, Sandi Jackson said she isn't resigning.

"I'm here, I'm working, I'm going to continue to work, and whoever these people are who purport to speak for me should stop," she said.

"I will finish my term. I intend to finish my term," Jackson added. "Unless something catastrophic happens -- I could step outside and get hit by a bus today."

Asked whether her husband getting sent to prison would constitute "something catastrophic," Jackson said she would not discuss that.

"I'm not going to entertain questions like that, I really am not," she said.

But Jackson said she is certain she will not become a candidate in the special election to replace her husband.

"No. I am not a candidate for Congress," Jackson said when asked whether she's considering joining the crowded field of hopefuls. "I intend to remain an alderman," she said.

Jackson, who is the Democratic committeeman of the 7th Ward, said she has not decided which candidate to support for the 2nd U.S. House District seat.

Jackson said she has not yet decided whether to move back to Chicago full time from Washington D.C., where she said her husband is currently staying with the couple's children while he continues to see his doctors regularly.

"I haven't made a decision about what I'm going to do," she said. "What I'm doing right now is concentrating on delivering the best city services possible to the ward. When that decision is made I'll be sure to let you know."