Louisiana Lawmaker Spent $37,000 of His Campaign Funds on Gambling
This is quite the story. A Louisiana lawmaker spent $37,000 from his campaign account to gamble, but says he's going to pay it back and there's a reason for the splurge.
Rep. Jerome "Dee" Richard of Thibodaux says he believes his gambling addiction was a side effect to anti-Parkinson's disease medication he used. He also says he's reached a settlement with the Board of Ethics, agreeing to repaying the money and acknowledged improper use of campaign donations.
"I spent whatever I had to my name, and I started using campaign funds," said Richard in an interview.
Studies have shown that anti-Parkinson medications can occasionally spark compulsions like pathological gambling. Richard said he never had an interest in gambling before he began taking the drugs back in mid-2011.
"The drugs involved, I'm sure they had something to do with it," he said. "But I've taken responsibility, and I'm moving forward."
The lawmaker did send a statement explaining the ethics violation to every House member. Richard says he doesn't plan to resign.
Ethics administrator Kathleen Allen would not confirm that a consent agreement had been reached with Richard.