Fourteen years ago Weatherford College President Kevin Eaton applied for a position at the Texas-based two-year institution.
Now, new details published in The Weatherford Democrat allege he submitted false information about his past employment and hid details of a criminal conviction when he applied to the college for work. Eaton became president in 2009.
The college's board is standing behind the president.
"The Weatherford College Board of Trustees is very pleased with the progress the college has made under Dr. Eaton's leadership since 2009," said Frank Martin, chairman of the Weatherford College Board of Trustees, in a statement to Inside Higher Ed. "Dr. Eaton has been forthcoming with the board in all matters. We look forward to continuing our work with Dr. Eaton and our wonderful faculty and staff for the betterment of our students."
Allegations include that Eaton provided false or misleading information about his professional qualifications, including during sworn testimony that was required as part of a lawsuit involving the college. When Eaton applied for employment at the college in December 2002, he stated he didn't have any convictions. However, records show that he was found guilty in July 2002 of a misdemeanor for false imprisonment. He was sentenced to two years' probation and 50 hours of community service.
According to the article, Eaton, who initially began his career at Weatherford in a tech prep director position, said he disclosed the criminal conviction to Weatherford's former college president Don Huff and the board in 2002, long before he was hired as president. Huff had his own controversial tenure with the college. In 2005, the college fired him and another official after a lawsuit accused him of retaliating against and firing a former faculty member who accused the then president of discriminatory hiring practices, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Eaton also claimed to have worked as a certified public accountant; however, the newspaper alleges that the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy licensing division doesn't have a record for him as a CPA. Eaton told the Democrat that he was unaware it was illegal to represent himself as a CPA without the certification and that he intended to present himself as just an accountant.
The college and Eaton declined to comment further. Although a representative from the college said Eaton does dispute several points in the news article, he's been advised not to elaborate on the issue with media.
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