Thom Tillis has a tough decision to make: Allow his BFF Stephen LaRoque to keep stinking up the North Carolina House of Representatives, or send the Kinston crook packing. Given that Tillis is already proving to be just another power-hungry pol, I'm betting he gives LaRoque a pass. Mr. Speaker is starting to look an awful lot like old Jim Black.
N.C. State Rep. Stephen LaRoque tapped a federally-funded non-profit he ran to loan his own company money, according to documents filed in the Lenoir County Courthouse this week.
LaRoque Management Group, the for-profit company LaRoque owns, received a $200,000 loan at zero-percent interest in July 2010 from East Carolina Development Company, according to a promissory note found in court records.
The promissory note doesn’t specify what the money was for, but does indicate LaRoque Management Group paid back the no-interest loan in May. (Click here to see the loan document.)
LaRoque refused to comment about the loan. “I’m not talking to you about anything,” he said.
The loan may run afoul of the IRS rules that govern tax-exempt public charities like East Carolina Development Company and Piedmont Development Company, both of which are based in Kinston.
“An arrangement like that is highly unusual and suspect,” said Thomas Kelley, a UNC-Chapel Hill law professor that specializes in non-profit management.