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Mark Hardy resigns from Kings' coaching staff [Updated]

Kings assistant coach Mark Hardy, facing a fourth-degree felony sexual abuse charge, has resigned, a club spokesman said Saturday.

Hardy was arrested May 21 in Washington, D.C., following a complaint filed by a family member. According to documents filed in Superior Court in Washington, D.C., he is in a residential treatment program and is scheduled to return to court for a preliminary hearing on July 1. It is The Times’ practice not to name alleged sexual abuse victims.

Mark Hardy Hardy, a Manhattan Beach resident and former Kings defenseman, was in his second stint as an assistant coach with the team. He had been on the staff from 1999 to 2006 before leaving to work in the Chicago Blackhawks organization. He returned to the Kings’ staff in August 2008.

In a statement, the Kings said Hardy had resigned on Friday and they would have no further comment on the matter. The statement said a search for a new assistant coach would begin immediately.

[Update -- Hardy's attorney, Craig Renetzky of Woodland Hills, said via e-mail Saturday night that Hardy had voluntarily entered an alcohol treatment program. Renetzky also issued a statement on Hardy's behalf:

"After 21 years with the Kings organization both as a player and a coach, the decision to leave the team at this time was one of the hardest of my career. My most important priorities are my family and my recovery, and I hope the Kings' fans will understand my decision. We are grateful for the support and kindness that we have received through the years, especially now." ]

-- Helene Elliott

Photo: Hardy at a Kings game in October of 2008. Credit: Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times

 
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