College's Hastert Center Has a New Name

Wheaton College steps away from scandal-plagued former speaker
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2015 12:40 AM CDT
College's Hastert Center Has a New Name
In this June 15, 2007, photo, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., sits for a portrait in his Capitol Hill office.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

The J. Dennis Hastert Center for Economics, Government, and Public Policy at Wheaton College has taken Hastert out of its name as the scandal surrounding the former House speaker continues to grow. Hastert, who graduated from the Illinois college in 1964, resigned from the conservative institution's board of advisers on Friday, reports NBC News. The center will continue to advance the understanding of issues, including the "redeeming effects of the Christian worldview on the practice of business, government, and politics," and Wheaton respects Hastert's "distinguished public service record and the due process being afforded him pursuant to the charges that have been filed against him," the college said in a statement.

It isn't clear what will happen to the collection of papers Hastert donated to his alma mater, reports the Chicago Tribune, which notes that the scandal has had several other "ripple effects" for the former speaker. He has stepped down from his job at lobbying firm Dickstein Shapiro, which he joined after leaving the House in 2008, and he has also left the board of directors at futures-exchange company CME Group. A plan to put a $500,000 statue of Hastert in the Illinois state Capitol is also on ice. A spokesman for Michael Madigan, the Democratic speaker of the state House, tells ABC News that Hastert called a month ago asking for the project to be shelved because it was a "not wise use of state funds." (Read more Dennis Hastert stories.)

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