- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 18, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A former North Carolina state legislator is ready to serve time for the crime of stealing money from a federally funded rural development organization he founded. But he’s not going quietly.

Former House member of Stephen LaRoque says he had to report to the federal prison in Butner by midday Tuesday for his two-year sentence.

LaRoque pleaded guilty in January to one count of taking $150,000 from East Carolina Development Co. Prosecutors argued he used the money for personal benefit. The Kinston Republican distributed a statement to media outlets over the weekend. He says he only took money owed to him in deferred salary that he planned to repay after getting an inheritance.

LaRoque called his prosecution a “witch hunt” and accused prosecutors of targeting him for his political activism.

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