Archives

Uncategorized

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

LaRoque

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.

Read More

Uncategorized

A temporary replacement for former state lawmaker Stephen LaRoque was appointed last week and according to this story in the Kinston Free Press, she seems likely to offer quite a change in style, if not political ideology.  

“Kozel is the board chair for Eastern North Carolina Home Schoolers and is the director and co-founder of the Eastern N.C. Tea Party. She is a mother of 13 children and is married to Dr. William L. Kozel of Kinston.”

Uncategorized

Former state representative Stephen LaRoque appeared in federal court in Raleigh last week to face charges of theft and money laundering. Pending trial in Greenville at a later date LaRoque was released on an unsecured bond and restricted to travel within the 44 counties of the Eastern District of North Carolina. That has not stopped another case involving LaRoque from making it all the way to the Supreme Court in Washington DC. The spotlight will be on voter suppression, namely the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act, not LaRoque, though LaRoque’s name and statements appear in documents submitted to the court, including statements referring to his status as a state legislator.
Read More

Uncategorized

The shout out for NC Policy Watch reporter Sarah Ovaska’ s investigation of now-indicted State Rep. Stephen LaRoque is nice, but the main reason you need to check out this piece in today’s Fayetteville Observer is because of the message it delivers about corruption in state government and, in particular, the disturbing lack of action to curb it from the leadership of the North Carolina House.

You can read the entire editorial by clicking here.

 

Uncategorized

Faberge Imperial Egg, Va. Museum of Fine Arts.

N.C. Rep. Stephen LaRoque apparently had a thing for Fabergé eggs, jeweled collectibles that fetch high prices and are often emblazoned with gold, rubies and diamonds.

The Kinston lawmaker’s weakness for reproductions of the elaborately-decorated eggs that now symbolize the wrongs of pre-Revolution Russia came out this week, when LaRoque was indicted by a federal grand jury and accused of using federal money to support his own lavish lifestyle.

N.C. Rep. Stephen LaRoque (R-Kinston)

Deep inside the 72-page indictment are mentions of purchases LaRoque made of a dozen Fabergé  eggs, spending more than $24,000 on the decorative collector items at shops in a Las Vegas casino and upscale mall in Northern Virginia.

The eggs LaRoque bought are most certainly reproductions – only 57 of the actual Fabergé  eggs are thought to exist and aren’t really the type of things that have price tags.

The real Imperial Fabergé  eggs were jewel-encrusted gifts that Tsar Alexander III bestowed on his wife for Easter, and came to represent the lavish and extravagance of the pre-Revolution Russian dynasties. Smaller decorated egg-shaped pendants were also made by the revered jewelry house, and worn as necklaces. Read More