Convicted Sex Offender?Has Sentence Commuted by Clinton, Gets Hired by Jesse Jackson

By Christine Hall | July 7, 2008 | 8:27 PM EDT

( - Two weeks after former Democratic Rep. Mel Reynolds had his sentence for fraud commuted by President Bill Clinton, Reynolds has landed on his feet as director of community development for Salem Baptist Church in his home state of Illinois. Reynolds has also been hired as a consultant on prison reform by Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.

Reynolds, a former Rhodes Scholar and a one-time rising star in the Democratic Party, was convicted in 1995 of having sex with a 16-year-old girl who worked on his campaign. He subsequently resigned his House seat but was convicted in 1997 on federal campaign fraud charges, including wire fraud, bank fraud and lying to the Federal Elections Commission.

Reynolds had served five years in prison with another two to go when Clinton commuted his sentence during the final days of his presidency. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Chicago police department will require Reynolds to register as a convicted sex offender. His name, birth date, weight, height, and, perhaps, a photo are expected to be posted on the police department Web site.

Jackson reportedly offered Reynolds the consulting position with Rainbow/PUSH in front of an estimated 2,500 parishioners and is quoted as saying, "Mel, when you come out of the fire ... you'll come out stronger." Jackson's son, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., (D-Ill.) was Reynold's successor in Congress.

Reynold's wife and children are reportedly living in a public housing project near Boston.

The Rainbow/PUSH coalition did not return calls seeking comment.