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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – House Speaker Thom Tillis said he’s advised a fellow Republican member who was indicted on federal charges to resign from the chamber.

Tillis said Wednesday he’s told Rep. Stephen LaRoque of Kinston it would be a wise decision if he stepped down from his legislative seat. A grand jury indicted LaRoque this week on charges he took hundreds of thousands of dollars loaned to his company through a federal program and gave it to another company he owned for transactions that helped family members.

Tillis told The Associated Press his advice isn’t based on whether he believes LaRoque is guilty or innocent but in protecting the institution of the House.

LaRoque declined to comment on Tillis’ statement. LaRoque lost in the May primary and won’t return in January.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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