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South Side Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. Leaves Congress

The focus of a federal probe, Jesse Jackson Jr. hands in his letter of resignation.

The question on a lot of minds was when would Jesse Jackson Jr. return to Congress.

He hadn't been seen in Washington since June when he began treatment for bipolar disorder. He stood for re-election, and while he wasn't seen on the campaign trail, just two weeks or so ago, he was resoundly elected to his 10th term, the Chicago Tribune reported.

After months of speculation, Jackson has resigned.

Multiple sources report that Jackson, the focus of a federal ethics probe, cited health problems as his reason for stepping down.

"Against the recommendations of my doctors, I had hoped and tried to return to Washington and continue working on the issues that matter most to the people of the Second District. I know now that will not be possible,” Jackson wrote in his letter of resignation to Speaker of the House John Boehner, according to the New York Times.

The full text of the letter is a PDF on this page.

In the letter, Jackson also acknowledged the ongoing corruption probe into his alleged misuse of campaign dollars, according to the Tribune.

The Sun Times reports that federal authorities have probed campaign spending by Jackson on personal items, including interior decorating and a luxury watch that was purchased with campaign money.

The Tribune reports that Jackson has been under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for alleged improprieties related to his bid to win appointment in 2008 to the Senate seat that had been held by President Barack Obama.

A Jackson emissary is alleged to have offered to raise up to $6 million in campaign funds for disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich in exchange for the governor appointing Jackson to the Senate seat, the Tribune reports.

According to the Huffington Post Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, now has five days to schedule an election to replace Jackson, and the election must be held within 115 days.

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