Press Conference

Representative Stephen LaRoque

Purpose of IRP Program

Source: OIG Audit Report 34601-6-At

East Carolina Development Company

Source: 501(c)(3) Application

East Carolina Development Company
‡ Loans to Small Businesses ‡ Helps Small Businesses Create & Save Jobs ‡ Never Received Taxpayer Money, Grants or Foundation funding for Operational Costs ‡ Income from Interest and Fees

Stephen LaRoque, LaRoque Management Group
‡ Contracted to manage both ECDC and PDC ‡ Pays All Employee Salaries and Benefits ‡ Makes Small Business Loans

NC Policy Watch
‡ Far-left propaganda machine ‡ Linked to other liberal organizations ‡ At least one board member has been arrested in disruptive protests in the General Assembly as recently as three months ago

Article by NC Policy Watch
Falsehood ‡ Claims I am unjustly compensated for my work and that taxpayer money pays my salary Truth ‡ LaRoque Management Group (LMG) manages more assets, with lower personnel costs, than similar organizations ‡ Compensation paid to LMG is used to pay Employees, Benefits, and Payroll Taxes

Source: Guidestar.org Information only available for 2007-2008

Comparison of Assets to Personnel Costs

Article by NC Policy Watch
Falsehood ‡ Board members have no say in the running of the non-profits and have no idea of my compensation Truth ‡ Board Members Approve All Loans and Approved the Contract for Services

Source: Minutes of 2/16/1999 ECDC Board Meeting

Mark Pope
Falsehood ‡ Pope left the Board after getting his current job as the head of economic development in Lenoir County, but also because he was increasingly uncomfortable with the way the non-profit was operated.

Mark Pope: The Truth

Mark Pope: The Truth
Truth ‡ Pope left after he learned he could not get a loan from ECDC while being a member of the Board. 38 days after resigning, Pope and his business partner received a loan. Payments on this loan are severely delinquent.

Mark Pope: The Truth

Mark Pope: The Truth
Truth ‡ While serving on the Board, Pope voted for loans for his business partner while failing to disclose his relationship with anyone else on the Board.

Article by NC Policy Watch
Falsehood ‡ Claims the USDA admonished me for my handling of ECDC Truth ‡ ECDC is audited annually for compliance with regulations and the only required change was regarding an ambiguity in USDA¶s own IRP Guidelines. This clarification affected twothirds of reviewed corporations that make and service IRP loans.

OIG Report on USDA·s IRP Program

Source: OIG Audit Report 34601-6-At

Article by NC Policy Watch
Falsehood ‡ Claims impropriety because there are members of my family on the ECDC Board Truth ‡ There are no IRS regulations that prevent family members from serving together on the Board of Directors of a Non-Profit Organization

Walter LaRoque
‡ Self-Employed Appraiser and Realtor for 33 Years ‡ Taught Real Estate at Lenoir Community College for 18 Years ‡ Pro Bono Consultant to ECDC & PDC in matters related to Real Estate valuations and marketing of OREO (Foreclosed) properties

Susan LaRoque (formerly Eatman)
‡ Successful small business Owner ‡ 25 years of experience in growing a small business in eastern North Carolina ‡ Was a single mother for much of this time and is sensitive to the situations of other business owners

Article by NC Policy Watch
Falsehood ‡ Claims I improperly make loans to friends and business associates Truth ‡ ECDC and PDC make loans to small businesses that can not receive funding elsewhere. ‡ If I loaned money to a dry cleaner, would I be precluded from taking my clothes there? ‡ Do business with those who do business with you

Loan to Diener Law
‡ I met Mr. Diener, a disabled veteran, after Robert Masters referred me to him as someone to consider hiring for legal services. I hired his law firm to represent me personally and, later, organizations with which I am affiliated ‡ Mr. Diener was unable to obtain financing from other lenders and inquired about funding to expand his business. Since receiving funding, Diener Law has created approximately 22 jobs ‡ Diener Law has opened offices in Snow Hill, Mount Olive and Kenansville, which are all underserved communities

Loans to Sen. Clary & Rep. Hilton
‡ Both Senator Clary and Representative Hilton are small business owners ‡ Both received loans that helped create and save jobs in their communities ‡ Both were turned down by two banks before seeking a loan from PDC ‡ Why shouldn¶t members of the legislature qualify for loans like anyone else?

Question & Answer Session
Representative Stephen LaRoque

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