After Indictment, Dennis Hastert Steps Down From Wheaton College’s Hastert Center Board

The scandal brewing around Dennis Hastert this week spread into his evangelical faith community with news that he stepped down from a board position at Wheaton College

Former House speaker Dennis Hastert resigned from the school’s board of advisers of its J. Dennis Hastert Center for Economics, Government, and Public Policy, a $10 million project housed in the college’s politics, international relations, business and economics departments. Hastert, 73, was indicted Thursday [May 28] by a federal grand jury on charges that he violated banking laws in a bid to pay $3.5 million to someone to cover up “past misconduct.”

 

The scandal brewing around Dennis Hastert this week spread into his evangelical faith community with news that he stepped down from a board position at Wheaton College – the prominent evangelical school from which he graduated and where he established a major governmental program.

Former House speaker Dennis Hastert resigned from the school’s board of advisers of its J. Dennis Hastert Center for Economics, Government, and Public Policy, a $10 million project housed in the college’s politics, international relations, business and economics departments.

Hastert, 73, was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges that he violated banking laws in a bid to pay $3.5 million to someone to cover up “past misconduct.” Hastert, who has been a lobbyist in Washington since his 2007 retirement from Congress, attempted to hide more than $950,000 in withdrawals, according to the indictment. The indictment did not spell out the exact nature of the “prior misconduct” by Hastert.

The alma mater of evangelicals, such as Billy Graham, created the Hastert Center after the representative left office and began hosting events in 2009. Hastert earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wheaton College in 1964.

“The College is saddened to learn of these charges,” spokeswoman LaTonya Taylor said in an e-mail on Thursday. “We do not have further comment at this time.”

On its Web site, the college announced Friday that Hastert would step down from the board of the center, which was established in the speaker’s name “to advance the training of Wheaton College students and the greater community in the understanding of market economies, representative democracies, limited government, and the redeeming effects of the Christian worldview on the practice of business, government and politics.”

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