Ethics Committee Investigates Rep. Jackson in Blago Fallout - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue
Congressman Jackson Promotional Shots Updates


Rep. Jesse Jackson confirmed that he is the subject of an investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics, which is looking into his relationship with indicted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The investigation by the independent, nonpartisan board involves Blagojevich’s efforts to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.

“I am cooperating fully with the preliminary review being conducted by the Office of Congressional Ethics,” said Jackson in a statement. “As I said when the Blagojevich scandal first broke back in December, I have done nothing wrong and reject pay-to-play politics.  I’m confident that this new ethics office — which I voted in favor of creating — will be able to conduct a fair and expeditious review and dismiss this matter.”

Due to the confidentiality of the process, Leo Wise, staff director and chief council for the OCE, could not confirm if an investigation was underway. But Jackson said Wednesday that he was notified last week about the inquiry.

Documents from Blagojevich’s 19-count indictment allege that the former governor believed the Democratic state senator would pay him $1.5 million for the appointment..

Sen. Roland Burris, who was appointed by Blagojevich to replace Obama, is also being investigated by the Senate ethics committee for not providing full disclosure during Blagojevich’s impeachment trial. Under oath, Burris said he had not talked with anyone close to Burris, but later he said that the governor’s brother approached him about raising money for the Senate Seat. Burris says he declined the opportunity.

The OCE is comprised of nonlawmakers who review and investigate possible ethics violations by House members and their staff. A preliminary review is initiated when a written request is made by two members — of different political parties — of the eight person board, Wise said. If merited, the board will refer the case to the House ethics committee.
If the OCE dismisses a case, no record is made. Only the House ethics committee has the authority to make recommendations of censure or punishment.

Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.