Advisor Ron Rhoades said he has stepped down as chairman-elect of Napfa because he was late in filing registration papers with the Florida Division of Securities.

Rhoades had been scheduled to take over as chairman of the fee-only advisor organization starting Sept. 1. In what appears to be a mutual decision with Napfa, Rhoades also resigned from the Napfa board of directors.

"The mistake was mine, and mine alone," Rhoades, president of ScholarFi Inc. in Alfred, N.Y., said in a press release today. "I accept full responsibility for my personal mistake, and all [its] consequences ... including the decision by Napfa to move on without me serving as chair in the coming year."

Napfa, meanwhile, released a statement of its own:

"It is with regret that Ron Rhoades has resigned from the Napfa Board and as chair-elect. This decision was made after Ron disclosed that he had committed a compliance violation by failing to timely file registration papers with the State of Florida Division of Securities," the statement said. "Ron informed Napfa of this violation and the national board has decided to move on in 2012-13 without Ron as the chair."

Napfa will hold a special election next month to fill the open seat, according to the Napfa statement, which added that Napfa Chairwoman Susan John will remain at her post until the election.

Rhoades explained in his statement that although his firm was formed in New York last year, he needed to register in Florida because he had 11 clients from that state at the time. Rhoades, who serves as compliance officer of his firm, said that the reason for the late filing was that he mistakenly believed he had until the end of the first quarter of 2012 to register in Florida. Florida requires any advisor with more than five clients in the state to register.

"Registration documents were submitted to the state in February 2012, but in late May 2012 I was made aware of my mistake," he said in the press release. "Since then, I have undertaken candid disclosures of all requested facts to the state, and I await their final determination of this matter."

Rhoades is a certified financial planner who also serves as assistant professor and program chair for the Personal Financial Planning Program at Alfred State College in Alfred. Prior to Alfred State College, Rhoades was chief compliance officer at Joseph Capital Management. According to his company Web site, Rhoades holds a doctorate degree from the University of Florida College of Law.

Efforts to reach Rhoades were unsuccessful.

With more than 2,400 members across the country, Napfa provides fee-only financial planners with guidelines for professional competency and comprehensive financial planning.

-Raymond Fazzi