A longtime Louisiana lawmaker resigned last week amid a federal financial investigation into her 20-year gambling addiction.
Karen Carter Peterson, 52, announced her abrupt resignation on Friday, citing her need to focus on a decades-long battle with depression and chronic gambling.
“I must place all my energy on my mental health and personal well-being, and so I have tendered my resignation with immediate effect,” Peterson said in a statement.
The former state senator is also under federal investigation, sources said. The New Orleans Lawyer.
While officials declined to release details of the investigation, they confirmed to the outlet that his finances and gambling addiction, first made public in 2019, will be the focus.
The Louisiana Democratic Party chapter declined to say whether the party had received a subpoena or whether federal authorities had asked federal authorities to provide information on Peterson.
The state senate has not been subpoenaed, President Page Cortez confirmed.
Peterson, who received inpatient and outpatient treatment for her gambling, was elected to the State House in 1999 and then to the Senate in 2010.
His term was due to end next year at the end of the June legislative session. Peterson’s seat will be replaced this fall.
Former Louisiana State Senator Karen Carter Peterson, 52, resigned on Friday, citing her need to focus on her decades-long battle with depression and chronic gambling (file photo)
His resignation comes amid a federal financial probe into his 20-year-old gambling addiction
Peterson’s gambling issues first became public in February 2019 when local news channel WWL-TV reported that she received a misdemeanor summons after gambling at L’Auberge casino in Baton Rouge.
In Louisiana, people with gambling addictions can self-impose bans by agreeing to be on a list distributed to casinos across the state. If they fail to refrain from playing, they receive a summons.
At the time, Peterson opened up about her game and resigned as president of the Louisiana Democratic Party, where she was elected in 2012.
The former state senator hinted at her resignation Thursday as she led prayer from the Senate dais.
“Over the past few years, I have successfully participated in inpatient and outpatient treatments,” Peterson said.
‘I want you to know that this addiction and this disease is insidious, a lot of people suffer from it. Highest suicide rate of any addiction.
The former state senator hinted at her resignation on Thursday. As she led the prayer from the Senate dais, she spoke of her struggle with chronic gambling
Peterson, who was hospitalized and outpatient to nurse her gambling, was elected to the State House in 1999 and then to the Senate in 2010. She announced her resignation in a statement Friday.
Last month, Peterson sponsored a bill to recognize March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month in the state of Louisiana. The bill was signed and signed into law on March 21.
According to the Mayo Clinic, gambling can stimulate the brain’s reward system, much like drugs and alcohol do.
People who develop this type of addiction can lead normal lives and even be seen as reliable, responsible, and trustworthy, but traumatic circumstances can trigger episodes of intense gambling.
“There are a lot of very competent, very educated, accomplished doctors, lawyers, pilots, congressmen, who are under a lot of stress,” said Felicia Kleinpeter, CEO of Imagine Recovery. FOX8.
“As people we have stress and stress is something that is the real trigger for wanting to fall back into those behaviors. So her focus on her recovery is really, really admirable, and it’s the greatest gift you can give yourself and the people who love her.
The federal investigation will look into Peterson’s finances and his addiction.
According to financial records, Peterson earned just over $130,000 in 2020. Along with her $22,000 salary as a senator, she earned $109,000 as an adviser to the law firm Dentos, NOLA reported. .
Dentos’ clients include oil, insurance, real estate, banking and lobbying majors.
It’s unclear if Peterson will continue with the company, but she’s not currently listed on its website.
The federal investigation will look into Peterson’s finances and his addiction. According to financial records, Peterson earned just over $130,000 in 2020. Along with her $22,000 salary as a senator, she earned $109,000 as an attorney with the law firm Dentos (pictured by ‘archives)
Peterson, who is married to newly elected CEO of education nonprofit New Schools for New Orleans Dana Peterson, said Friday she was grateful for the support she had received throughout her legislative career.
“Since 1999, I have had the privilege of serving as a member of the Louisiana Legislative Assembly, providing passionate and vigorous advocacy on behalf of the people of this great state.
“I hope my decades of service have had a positive impact on the lives of those I fought for,” she wrote in a statement.
“I humbly ask for prayers and support as I continue my journey of recovery and redemption. God bless the state of Louisiana.
In the state senate, Peterson lobbied for bills regarding the rights of victims of human trafficking, higher education opportunities, and the treatment of cancer patients.