IMF Chief Resigns Amid Sex Charges

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Accused sex offender Dominique Strauss-Kahn stepped down from his post as Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund late Wednesday, as calls for his resignation heated up in the wake of the French politician's arrest in New York last Saturday on devastating charges of sexual assault.

Strauss-Kahn said the decision to resign brought him "infinite sadness," but that he needed to devote all of his energy to proving his innocence.

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The IMF chief vehemently reasserted his innocence in his letter of resignation, which was released early Thursday morning in France.

"To all, I want to say that I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me."

In his resignation letter, the jailed financier also mentioned his concern for his family.

"I think at this time first of my wife—whom I love more than anything—of my children, of my family, of my friends," he said, and also mentioned his colleagues at the IMF, with whom he had "accomplished such great things."

Strauss-Kahn has a second bail hearing this afternoon in which his attorneys will plead for a $1 million cash bail and suggest he be held on 24-hour home detention with electronic monitoring at his daughter's residence in Manhattan.

On Monday, a Manhattan judge denied Strauss-Kahn bail since then he has been held at Rikers Island.

He is accused of assaulting a 32-year-old maid who was cleaning his $3,000-per night hotel suite at the Sofitel hotel in New York City. The maid, a West African immigrant, accused the 62-year old candidate of attacking her and forcing her to perform oral sex. The prosecution has said DNA evidence supports the story and a hospital examination of the victim confirms it.

The IMF's executive board has appointed John Lipsky to serve as interim managing director. The Fund said in a statement that it will communicate "in the near future" on its process for selecting a new director. Strauss-Kahn was expected to step down from his post to run against Nicolas Sarkozy in the upcoming French elections. Lipsky has said he will step down when his term ends in August.

In remarks made at the Harvard Club in New York City on Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner joined the ranks of those pressuring Strauss-Kahn to resign, saying he was "obviously not in a position" to head up the IMF; he called Lipsky a "very capable person," for the interim.

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