Both federal prosecutors and the attorney for former state Rep. Stephen LaRoque are asking to push back an October trial date on federal theft charges to February of next year.
In a joint motion filed on Thursday, assistant U.S. Attorney Dennis Duffy and Raleigh defense attorney Joe Cheshire cited the complexity of the charges filed against LaRoque in asking U.S Senior District Court Judge Malcolm Howard for the delay.
“If this case were ultimately to proceed to trial, the parties would need to present a significant amount of financial evidence and a relatively large number of witnesses,” Duffy wrote in the motion. “The parties intend to engage in a significant amount of discussions to reach stipulations and agree on the admissibility of summary exhibits in order to streamline the presentation of each side’s evidence.”
LaRoque, 49, of Kinston, was indicted by a Raleigh-based federal grand jury in July and
charged with four counts of stealing from a federally-funded program and four additional counts of conducting financial transactions with the money.
He faces up to 10 years in prison on each count.
LaRoque, who resigned from office following the indictment, has denied any wrongdoing in his management of East Carolina Development Company and Piedmont Development Company, the two small non-profits LaRoque ran.