RALEIGH, N.C. — 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.