Video poker was ex-mayor’s vice

San Diego – The addiction to gambling does  not discriminate.  It strikes across all echelons of society, devastating the finances, jobs and families of everyone from doctors and police officers to college students and retirees.

It is now blamed for the undoing of former San Diego Mayor Maureen O’Connor, sinking her deep into debt and resulting in a federal charge of making an unlawful transaction with $2 million in embezzled funds.

Video poker was her vice, according to federal court records, as it is for many women who seek escape from bigger problems.

“It’s not about the money.  It’s about how it’s making her feel, ” said Dr. Suzanne Pike, an Escondido psychologist who treats addicts at her San Diego Center for Pathological Gambling.  “It’s a smoke screen for what she’s not dealing with.”

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