The response by House Speaker Thom Tillis to the indictment of a fellow Republican lawmaker drew praise Friday from GOP gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory, Jim Morrill of the Charlotte Observer reports.
But his opponent, Democratic Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, said the indictment of Rep. Stephen LaRoque makes it harder for McCrory to criticize a Democratic “culture of corruption.”
“It’s harder for (McCrory) to say that with a straight face given what’s going on,” Dalton told reporters. “There are examples in both parties … that neither side should continue.”
The question came up after both candidates spoke to the North Carolina Trucking Association in Ballantyne.
Dalton was asked by a reporter about GOP efforts to brandish a “culture of corruption” label against Democrats in light of recent incidents involving legislative staffers and LaRoque.
Laroque, of Kinston, was indicted on federal charges of theft and money laundering involving his management of more than $7 million in federal funds.
Tillis, a Cornelius Republican, has urged him to resign.
“I’m very pleased with Thom Tillis,” McCrory said. “That’s the type of leadership I will demand as governor.”
Dalton said Friday told the trucking group that he opposes making portions of I-95 a toll road but later said he would leave the option open for the proposed Garden Parkway in Gaston County and Monroe Bypass in Union County.
McCrory said he would do a “total evaluation” of all road projects, including those, if elected.
Asked about the two controversial Charlotte-area road projects, Dalton said he would leave decisions about them to highway engineers.
Funding questions have dogged the proposed Gaston project. This week the federal government withdrew its “Record of Decision” in favor of the Monroe bypass.