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Indicted lawmaker asked to consider resigning

Posted July 18, 2012
Updated July 19, 2012

— House Speaker Thom Tillis said he's advised a fellow Republican member who was indicted on federal charges to resign from the chamber.

Tillis said Wednesday he's told Rep. Stephen LaRoque of Kinston it would be a wise decision if he stepped down from his legislative seat.

A grand jury indicted LaRoque this week on charges he took hundreds of thousands of dollars loaned to his company through a federal program and gave it to another company he owned for transactions that helped family members.

Tillis told The Associated Press his advice isn't based on whether he believes LaRoque is guilty or innocent but in protecting the institution of the House.

LaRoque declined to comment on Tillis' comments.

Tillis also said in a statement that he has referred the matter to the Legislative Ethics Committee for a possible investigation.

"I decided to ensure that Rep. LaRoque will no longer serve in any type of leadership position within the House or its committees if the legislature reconvenes," he said.

Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy also called for LaRoque to resign.

"I believe in due process and innocence until proven guilty, however, it appears to be in the best interest of the 10th House district to be removed from the shadow of this indictment," Murphy said in a statement.

LaRoque, who was co-chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee, lost in the May primary and won't return to the General Assembly in January.

23 Comments

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  • arfamr1007 Jul 19, 2012

    For years, Republicans in NC have stayed fairly clean.-cwood3

    I am glade cwood3 has finally developed a sense of humor!
    WooHoo2You
    July 19, 2012 1:13 p.m.
     Report abuse

    Please feel free to post links to other NC republicans in the news for scandals. I could name 5 democrats from the last year

  • lessismore Jul 19, 2012

    To resign would be like admitting he was guilty. He is caught in between. Regardless, he should go to prison if he is guilty.

  • Bob3425 Jul 19, 2012

    Legislative Ethics Committee is that like the fox guarding the hen house. Ethics committee do nothing.

  • not my real name Jul 19, 2012

    Dont go away mad, just go away.

  • WooHoo2You Jul 19, 2012

    For years, Republicans in NC have stayed fairly clean.-cwood3

    I am glade cwood3 has finally developed a sense of humor!

  • hpr641 Jul 19, 2012

    I don't much see the point: He's not running for re-election, the legislature is unlikely to reconvene before the new rep. takes office, and his district would be without a rep. until then (in 1/2013). Now granted, he would keep getting his legislative salary, but it would be for < 6 months, and is not very much to begin with (most of our state legislators also have full-time jobs). Plus, he SHOULD still have a presumption of innocence (unless and until he confesses or has his guilt proven in a court of law).

  • BigBangTheorist Jul 19, 2012

    *****this man has not be found guilty of any crime, why should he step down? He should tell them all no way until after the courts have found him guilty...

    Exactly....we, the people, tend to JUDGE people before they are even TRIED....what happened to INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY????? Does this no longer apply in this day and time??????

    Come on Dollibug! Tillis asked his staffers to resign, and they were never brought up on criminal charges. Asking him to resign before his trial is in no way claiming that he is guilty. He will still go to trial. Keeping him in his job smacks of condoning his bad behavior, and Tillis has already compromised his integrity by paying a severance package to his staffers for their "indiscretions". He can't afford to back another person that has done some questionable acts.

  • dollibug Jul 19, 2012

    *****this man has not be found guilty of any crime, why should he step down? He should tell them all no way until after the courts have found him guilty...

    Exactly....we, the people, tend to JUDGE people before they are even TRIED....what happened to INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY????? Does this no longer apply in this day and time??????

    I have to believe that there are others in the NC General Assembly who are just as GUILTY as this man is of things that they have done also....perhaps they have not gotten CAUGHT YET...and may not get caught....but it does not mean that they are not guilty either.....perhaps every one of you need to take a step back and look at yourself and what you have done also....you are there to do a JOB....not just keep the seat warm and collect your paycheck...

  • cwood3 Jul 19, 2012

    For years, Republicans in NC have stayed fairly clean. They have stayed out of the media in most cases.

    I have actively called for crooked DemocRATS to step down. Most have not-and trials have come and gone.

    I expect the same from Mr. La Roque. He needs to resign TODAY!! If exonerated, good-run for re-election. But, in respect for the people of North Carolina, resign today!!

    Fairness brings respect for all. RESIGN!!

  • Rebelyell55 Jul 19, 2012

    "protecting the institution of the House." ??? Only way to do that is remove over half of them and censor the rest.

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