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NEW ORLEANS — Former Louisiana State Senator Karen Carter Peterson has been disbarred from the practice of law.
In August, Peterson pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with her use of state political party and campaign funds to support her gambling addiction.
Prior to the filing of formal charges, Peterson and the Office of Disciplinary Counsel submitted a joint petition for consent discipline, in which she acknowledged that her conduct was a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
Court documents outlined a scheme in which she diverted more than $94,000 in campaign funds for personal use, including for casino gambling. Prosecutors said she also arranged for another $53,000 in state Democratic Party funds to be kicked back to her by associates she arranged to be hired by the party.
According to the Louisiana Supreme Court, the ex-lawmaker was disbarred, retroactive to August 18, 2022, the date of her interim suspension.
Sentencing was set for Dec. 7. The felony charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, but it is uncertain how harsh her sentence will be after she signed a plea agreement and cooperated with prosecutors.
Peterson, 52, was elected to the state House in 1999 and to the state Senate in 2010. She twice ran unsuccessfully for Congress. She lost a U.S. House election last year to another New Orleans Democrat, Troy Carter.
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