While I was away this weekend, news came across the wire that my institution's former president (whose precipitous and contentious departure from power I discussed in this post) had abruptly resigned from the presidency of Palm Beach Atlantic University. Today he appeared in federal court in Little Rock to plead guilty to wire fraud and money laundering.
Ever since the 2008 unpleasantness, the FBI has been investigating the matter, through records searches and through interviews with members of the Hardin administration. There is no indication yet whether other charges will be filed against other parties, perhaps related to other misdeeds that have been widely reported from those years.
A plea agreement has been made, but the real possibility of jail time exists. And that's the weirdness of it all, something that folks close to scandals experience all the time. The guy whose hand you were shaking a few years ago, who was lauded in the papers as a great leader, whose face appeared in every TV ad for our school, is now a felon. It's hard to wrap one's mind around the sudden redefinition.