I know this story is from 2001, but track with me on this: -- In one of his last official acts President Clinton commuted Mel Reynolds sentence. The former congressman had two years left to serve for tax evasion. Now, he'll serve the rest of that sentence in a halfway house and he'll be working two new jobs. Former congressman Mel Reynolds was greeted warmly by members of Salem Baptist Church. Among the first to embrace him was U.S. congressman Jesse Jackson Junior, who replaced Reynolds in Congress. During church services Salem Baptist pastor Rev. James Meeks offered Reynolds the job of managing various church related projects, including building new homes in the Roseland neighborhood, helping the homeless and working with jail and prison inmates. Rev. Jesse Jackson, who along with others including Rev. James Meeks, also offered Reynolds a job. Rev. Jackson said Reynolds will consult the Rainbow Coalition/Push organization's efforts to help jail and prison inmates. Mel Reynolds said, his intention is to dedicate the rest of his life working to try and help homeless and working with men and women locked-up in jails and prisons. There's no start date set for both of Reynolds new jobs. http://abclocal.go.com/wls/news/012801_NS_reynolds.html -- Mel Reynolds was also in prison for having sex with a 16 year old volunteer campaign worker. ---- WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former Illinois Democratic Congressman Mel Reynolds and his wife were indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday on a variety of fraud charges relating to personal and campaign finances. The former Chicago lawmaker faces 16 felony counts returned by a grand jury in Chicago. His wife Marisol faces nine counts. Reynolds, 44, resigned from Congress soon after he was convicted in August 1995 on charges of criminal sexual assault, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography in a case stemming from his relationship with a 16-year-old campaign worker. Reynolds was sentenced to five years in prison for those crimes, and is expected to be released from the East Moline Correctional Institution in early 1998. He was first elected to Congress in 1992. The Justice Department said the new charges involve a variety of offenses including misuse of campaign funds and lying to the Federal Election Commission. Specifically, Mel Reynolds is named in one count of bank fraud, two counts of wire fraud, eight counts of making false statements on loan applications, one count of conspiracy to defraud the Federal Election Commission, and four counts of making false statements to the FEC. Federal prosecutors allege both Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds tried to conceal from the FEC the way in which campaign contributions were spent. The government says the couple directed various campaign workers to cash checks drawn on campaign accounts and to give the cash back to them. The Reynolds' are charged with conspiring to defraud the FEC during his 1990, 1992 and 1994 campaigns for Congress by impeding the commission and making false statements about campaign expenditures. Reynolds is also charged with defrauding four banks by making false statements to obtain $150,000 in personal loans. http://www.cnn.com/US/9611/07/reynolds.indict/ --- We all know about Jessie Jackson and his infidelity and illegitimate child: ---- NEW YORK (CNN) -- Civil rights activist and CNN talk show host Jesse Jackson is asking for forgiveness after acknowledging Thursday that he had an extramarital affair that resulted in the birth of a daughter now 20 months old. "I fully accept responsibility and I am truly sorry for my actions," Jackson said in a written statement. Jackson, a Baptist minister and one-time aide to Martin Luther King Jr., admitted that he fathered the child and has provided "emotional and financial support" since her birth. "As her mother does, I love this child very much," he said. 'I was born of these circumstances' "I was born of these circumstances," said Jackson, himself born out of wedlock, "and I know the importance of growing up in a nurturing, supportive and protected environment so I am determined to give my daughter and her mother the privacy they both deserve." His New York-based spokesman, John Scanlon, told CNN that Jackson issued the statement in advance of tabloid newspaper reports about the child. "We decided to issue this statement so that our point of view could be reflected in this story," Scanlon said. The statement does not reveal the name of the mother or the child, calling it "a private and family matter." Jackson says that "to protect all those I love I will not discuss it any further beyond this statement." 'I will be taking some time off' The two-time former presidential candidate plans an indefinite hiatus from his activist activities, which included opposing the confirmation of President-elect George W. Bush's attorney general nominee, John Ashcroft. "I will be taking some time off to revive my spirit and reconnect with my family before I return to my public ministry," the statement said. http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/01/18/jackson.child.02/index.html --- So what do we have? Jessie Jackson has added former Chicago democratic congressman Mel Reynolds to the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition's payroll. Reynolds was among the 176 criminals excused in President Clinton's last-minute forgiveness spree. Reynolds received a commutation of his six-and-a-half-year federal sentence for 15 convictions of wire fraud, bank fraud & lies to the Federal Election Commission. He is more notorious; however, for concurrently serving five years for sleeping with an underage campaign volunteer. This is a first in American politics: An ex-congressman who had sex with a subordinate won clemency from a president who had sex with a subordinate, then was hired by a clergyman who had sex with a subordinate. Ain't America grand?