RALEIGH, N.C. — State Rep. Stephen LaRoque submitted his resignation from the state House Wednesday, a week after he was indicted on charges of illegal use of federal funds and money laundering.
LaRoque, R-Lenoir, said he will step down on Aug. 1. He lost his re-election bid in the May primary but would have remained a House member through the end of the year.
"This is a difficult decision, as it has been one of the greatest honors of my life to have had the privilege of representing the people of the 10th District," he said in his resignation letter to House Speaker Thom Tillis. "I do not want my continued presence in the General Assembly to be politicized or to distract from the important work that still needs to be done there."
The federal charges are related LaRoque's company's handling of federal small-business loan funds.
"I am proud of the work I have done in my nonprofit corporations. We have worked hard to help people," he said in the resignation letter. "I deny the charges brought against me, and I now must devote my time and energies to proving my innocence and protecting my family and all that I have worked for and believe in."
Tillis last week urged LaRoque to resign, and he called the move Wednesday "the right decision.
Earlier Wednesday, Tillis said he would form a special committee to examine the charges against LaRoque and recommend what action, if any, is warranted by the House.
LaRoque's resignation ends that inquiry.