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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The state Democratic Party wants North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis to investigate a fellow Republican for potential ethics violations for presiding at a caucus meeting where legalizing video poker was discussed.

Democratic Party Chairman David Parker argued Tuesday that Rep. Mike Stone of Lee County had a possible conflict of interest because he operates a convenience store that had electronic sweepstakes machines. Stone told The News & Observer of Raleigh last weekend he was removing the machines from his store. A couple days earlier, Stone chaired a closed House GOP caucus policy meeting where lobbyists supporting or opposing video poker again spoke to GOP lawmakers.

Tillis defended the closed meeting, where no bills were discussed. He called Parker’s demand a “partisan, frivolous request” that required no further response.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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