Author of Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' law resigns after being hit with money laundering charges
Florida State Rep. Joe Harding (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

A Florida state representative who authored a controversial law banning teachers from mentioning their sexuality in class has now resigned just one day after being hit with money laundering charges.

In a resignation letter sent out on Thursday, Florida State Rep. Joe Harding said he believed that it was the right decision to resign for the good of Florida so that his constituents would not have to deal with the distraction of the multi-count indictment he got slapped with on Wednesday.

He also defended himself against the charges and sought to "reassure my constituents and the taxpayers that I repaid every penny of the loan I obtained, and I have done my best to fully cooperate with all authorities."

As Click Orlando reported earlier this week, Harding faces charges of wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements over an alleged attempt to defraud the Small Business Administration out of COVID-19 emergency relief money.

READ MORE: 'Deal with the devil': Evangelical pastor testifies about bargain Christian conservatives made with GOP

"The U.S. Department of Justice said Harding, 35, created bank accounts for dormant business entities and used them to apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans," Click Orlando writes. "The indictment accuses Harding of obtaining and attempting to obtain more than $150,000 from the SBA, which was deposited into two bank accounts."

If he is found guilty, Harding potentially faces decades in prison, as Click Orlando notes that the wire fraud charge alone carries a sentence of up to 20 years, while the money laundering charge could potentially tack on an extra decade to his sentence.

Harding's trial is set to begin in January.