RALEIGH — Rep. Stephen LaRoque resigned from the General Assembly on Wednesday afternoon, several hours after House Speaker Thom Tillis said he would form a special committee to publicly investigate the Kinston Republican, who was indicted by a federal grand jury last week.
LaRoque, in a letter to Tillis, said it was a difficult decision but “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.”
LaRoque added that he is proud of the work he did with his non-profit corporations, in which he acted as a middle-man to loan federal funds to struggling businesses in rural areas. “I have worked hard to help people,” he wrote, and denied the charges against him.
Earlier Wednesday, Tillis said the Legislative Ethics Committee reviewed the indictment and referred the matter back to the House. As a result, Tillis said he would form a bipartisan committee of House members to look into issues raised in the indictment. The committee’s proceedings would be held in public.
Following LaRoque’s resignation, Tillis released this statement:
“Last week, I advised Rep. LaRoque to step down from his seat in the North Carolina House in light of the allegations against him. Today, I believe he has made the right decision to resign and focus solely on the legal matters before him. This decision is in the best interests of his family, his constituents, and his state. I wish Rep. LaRoque and his family well in the trying weeks and months ahead.”