Hardin pleaded guilty in Arkansas March 7 to federal charges of wire fraud and money laundering, according to a news report in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette online. At Palm Beach Atlantic March 4, he had cited "personal and family reasons" for his sudden resignation, according to the chairman of the Palm Beach Atlantic board of trustees.
The Arkansas newspaper said Hardin, former president of the University of Central Arkansas prior to coming to Palm Beach Atlantic, said he had taken "full responsibility" for actions related to what was reported as a scheme deceiving the school's board of trustees into giving him nearly $200,000 which he has since repaid.
Palm Beach Atlantic University formerly was affiliated with the Florida Baptist Convention.
"The board of trustees is grateful to President Hardin for the progress that the University has made through his leadership," Robert Simpson, chairman of the university's board of trustees, said in a statement. "Palm Beach Atlantic is poised for continued growth in enrollment and access to its academic programs."
Compiled by Baptist Press and Florida Baptist Witness staff.
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