Lenoir County Lawmaker's Attorney Pushes Back Against Request

A noted criminal defense attorney representing a North Carolina House member that's been scrutinized by an outside advocacy group says a public review of the legislator's activities would set a new standard for politicizing government ethics.

Joe Cheshire of Raleigh wrote to House Speaker Thom Tillis on Thursday, one day after House Democratic leader Joe Hackney asked Tillis to form a bipartisan commission to look at Republican Rep. Stephen LaRoque of Lenoir County and his practices at economic development nonprofit groups he runs.

Cheshire referred to Hackney's request as something looking like "partisan political bait" and based on media reports that fall below any standard for holding a special commission.

LaRoque hasn't been charged with any crimes. Cheshire's past clients include former Gov. Mike Easley and Sen. R.C. Soles.

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