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Ethics committee to examine LaRoque

House Speaker Thom Tillis told the News & Observer last night that he plans on having the bipartisan House Ethics Committee look into questions about state Rep. Stephen LaRoque.

For those looking for more background on the problems LaRoque is facing, read our story from yesterday about Minority Leader Joe Hackney calling for an ethics probe and our August investigation, “Public money, personal gains.”

NC Policy Watch had reached out to Tillis’ office for comment several times yesterday, but never received a call back. We’ll let you know if we do.

Here’s what N&O reporter John Frank reported today:

The referral came after House Democratic leader Joe Hackney called for a special legislative commission to investigate Rep. Stephen LaRoque, a Kinston Republican facing questions about whether he violated federal tax laws or ethics policies by using his nonprofit to give loans to two lawmakers and a $200,000 no-interest loan to his own for-profit business, which went unreported on his tax return. LaRoque has denied any improprieties.

Speaking after a town hall forum in Morrisville, Tillis made no direct comments on LaRoque’s actions.

“We’ll have the legislative committee on ethics look at it and decide on whether it’s in their purview,” he said. “If not then we’ll determine what action, if any, that we’ll take.”

 

For those who want to know who could be deciding if LaRoque’s troubles are in the purview of the bipartisan Legislative Ethics Committee, here’s a list of members.

Members
Co-Chairs
Rep. Paul B. Stam (Co-Chair) House Appointment
Sen. Fletcher Lee Hartsell, Jr. (Co-Chair) Senate Appointment
Legislative Members
Rep. Richard Brooks Glazier House Appointment
Rep. D. Craig Horn House Appointment
Rep. Carolyn Hewitt Justice House Appointment
Rep. Marvin W. Lucas House Appointment
Rep. Grier Martin House Appointment
Sen. Daniel T. Blue, Jr. Senate Appointment
Sen. Edward Walter Jones Senate Appointment
Sen. E. S. Newton Senate Appointment
Sen. William Robert Purcell, MD Senate Appointment
Sen. Dan Soucek Senate Appointment

4 Comments

  1. david esmay

    November 17, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Paul Stam, co-chair? You’ve got to be kidding me, he shouldn’t be a co-chair of a pie eating contest, let alone an ethics investigation. His sole responsibility will be to bring a rug and a broom.

  2. CarlJ

    November 17, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Finally, Uncle Thom is getting off his butt. This should have been priority ONE to be investigated. Citizens deserve better than the Republican leadership is providing. No doubt, they’ll obfuscate, and diddle around. And Laroque will still be screwing his constituents and over the federal cash cow that he and all Tea Partiers claim to hate, unless they are on the financially receiving end of this.

  3. gregflynn

    November 17, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Yesterday during the Joint Appropriations Committee meeting Stam got up from his seat and walked around with a note in his hand. He found LaRoque in the back talking with a lobbyist, got his attention and they walked out together discussing the note. After a few minutes they came back in separately. LaRoque was talking with some other lobbyists gesturing towards reporters Mark Binker and Gary Robertson across the room and left through an opposite door. I was not aware at the time that Joe Hackney had called for a special commission to investigate LaRoque but it sure looked like he and Stam were doing some kind of damage control.

  4. david esmay

    November 17, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    I hope they hold Laroque’s butt to the fire, but in the end it will be up to the IRS and the USDA, they are not going to discipline one of their own, and having Stam involved with ethics is oxymoronic. Maybe they’ll surprise us, I’m not going to hold my breath.