Talk about closing the barn door after the horses have escaped. It’s being reported now that state House speaker Thom Tillis is recommending that his federally-indicted House colleague (and close political ally) Stephen LaRoque resign from his state House seat.
That’s *nice* — especially since its been public knowledge for about six months or so that LaRoque’s business practices were the target of a federal probe. Despite that fact, the speaker allowed LaRoque to stay in his powerful Rules Committee chairmanship and keep all of his leadership perks. It’s a shame that it took a federal indictment and a browbeating from House Democrats, conservative blogs and grassroots activists for this latest move to take place. At least one Republican caucus member thinks Tillis fell down on the job:
[…]. George Cleveland, a veteran Republican from Onslow County, said Wednesday that Tillis should have asked LaRoque to resign months ago when the controversy first arose.
“I also think the proper thing for LaRoque to do is submit his resignation,”’ Cleveland told The News & Observer.
Wednesday’s developments from Tillis’ office came after House Minority Leader Joe Hackney renewed his call for a bipartisan ethics probe of the Kinston Republican. Hackney had first suggested an investigation in September in the wake of media reports questioning LaRoque’s involvement in a federal loan program. He also called for LaRoque to be removed as chairman or vice chairman from four committees.[…]