SPINDALE, N.C. -- A district attorney in North Carolina is asking for a state investigation of two of his assistant prosecutors who are members of a North Carolina church that former congregants say beat members and derailed criminal investigations.

Attorney David Learner said Wednesday that he has asked the State Bureau of Investigation look at his employees who are members of the Word of Faith church.

The request was made Tuesday, a day after Learner said he was aware of an Associated Press story about prosecutors Frank Webster and Chris Back providing legal advice, helping at strategy sessions and participating in a mock trial for four congregants charged with harassing a former member.

Learner's emailed statement Wednesday did not say if Webster and Back will be allowed to continue to prosecute cases during the investigation. His office did not respond to an email and phone message from the AP.