Penn State University's board of trustees has accepted the resignation of Steven Garban, the man who chaired the board when the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal broke.
In a letter posted to the board's website on Thursday evening, PSU Trustees Chairwoman Karen Peetz said: "Earlier today I accepted Steve Garban's resignation from the Board of Trustees. I want to sincerely thank him for his many years of service to Penn State University and for the leadership he exhibited today."
Garban's resignation marks the first by a board member since the scandal erupted last year. Sandusky was convicted last month of 45 counts of child molestation and endangerment involving 10 boys.
Garban said in a letter his presence on the board had become "a distraction and an impediment'' to its efforts to move forward, the Associated Pres reported.
Garban was harshly criticized over his handling of the crisis that engulfed Penn State after Sandusky's arrest last November, and he faced persistent calls from alumni and fellow board members to step down.
An internal investigation by former FBI Director Louis Freeh found that Garban was briefed twice about developments in the Sandusky case but didn't share what he knew with the entire board, depriving trustees of a chance to prepare for the worst crisis in Penn State's 157-year history.
Freeh's 267-page report portrayed a disengaged board that handed too much responsibility to the university president and failed to investigate deeply enough once it became aware of a grand jury probe.
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