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UPDATE: Rep. Laroque: Article Is A "Witch Hunt"

Republican state representative Stephen Laroque called a press conference Tuesday in Kinston to address allegations he mismanaged 2 federally funded non-profit groups.

A recent report by NC Policy Watch says there are several questionable financial and management practices, but Laroque calls the accusations a witch hunt.

Laroque says the article was written to get back at him for saying Reverend William Barber, who heads up the NAACP, is racist. Barber is on the board of the North Carolina Justice Center, which runs NC Policy Watch.

The article points out Laroque's family members sit on the board that manages the non-profits, East Carolina Development Company and the Piedmont Development Company, that he loaned money to other republican representatives, and that he makes more than other non-profit directors, $195,000 in 2007 alone

Laroque doesn't deny any of those things - but says none of them are illegal.

"We found for example he had immediate family members on his board - the same board that's responsible for determining his compensation, which we found was up to 195 thousand during the years he reported to IRS." said Sarah Ovaska with NC Policy Watch

"I don't see a conflict there because these are people that are very qualified and have served on other boards in the past."said
Stephen LaRoque, (R) District 10.

Laroque says the non-profits provide loans to small business owners who can't get money elsewhere, and he'll continue to give loans to anyone who qualifies that wants to start up a small business.

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A Lenoir County lawmaker is going on the record about recent allegations that he is making a large sum of money as the executive director of two non-profits.

Republican State Representative Stephen Laroque will hold a press conference Tuesday to respond to what he calls the political witch hunt against him from the North Carolina Policy Watch.

During the speech he plans to go on the offensive against the group. Laroque says he plans to ask the IRS to investigate the North Carolina Justice Center, which the left-leaning N.C. Policy Watch falls under.

Tuesday's event will take place at the Visitor's Center on Highway 70 in Kinston at 11 a.m. The meeting is open to the public.


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