Louisiana State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson announces resignation, reportedly under federal investigation

Staff Report

State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson announced her resignation from the Senate April 8, saying she needed to focus on her struggle with depression and gambling addiction.

As first reported in a New Orleans Times-Picayune article, sources said she is the subject of a federal investigation.

The sources told the newspaper the probe is financial in nature and related to her gambling addiction.

In her more than 20-year career in the Louisiana legislature, she rose to Speaker Pro Tempore of the House before her election to the state Senate in 2010. 

Karen Carter Peterson

A former chair of the state Democratic Party, she lost a runoff to fellow Democratic candidate Troy Carter, who filled the vacancy left by Cedric Richmond in Louisiana's 2nd congressional district. Carter represents an area that extends from New Orleans to the Baton Rouge area, including parts of the parishes along the Mississippi River.

“Since 1999, I’ve had the privilege to serve as a member of the Louisiana Legislature offering passionate and vigorous advocacy on behalf of the people of this great state," she said in a statement. "I am hopeful that my decades of service have had a positive impact on the lives of those for whom I have fought. I truly believe I have helped to advance our beloved state forward. I am proud of my years of service in Baton Rouge and sincerely thank my constituents for giving me the opportunity to represent their interests. I am also very grateful for all of the personal and professional support I have received from my colleagues, legislative staff, advocates, friends, and family.”