IMF chief Strauss-Kahn apologizes for affair
The head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, on Monday publicly apologized for "an error of judgment" in an affair with a subordinate, but denied he had abused his position, Reuters reports.
In a memo e-mailed to staff, Strauss-Kahn apologized to IMF staff, the woman he had the affair with, Piroska Nagy, and his wife for the trouble it has caused.
The IMF board of member countries ordered an investigation by an outside law firm into whether Strauss-Kahn gave senior economist Nagy preferential treatment before she took a general staff buyout offer in August.
She is now working for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London.
"I apologized and said that I very much regret this incident," Strauss-Kahn said in the staff e-mail.
"Second, while this incident constituted an error of judgment on my part, for which I take full responsibility, I firmly believe that I have not abused my position," he said, adding: "Third, I fully support the process that is underway and I will, of course, follow the Board's guidance as to how best to resolve this matter."
Strauss-Kahn, a former French finance minister, said the result of the investigation was expected by the end of the month and urged the IMF board to inform staff of the outcome as soon as possible.
"I want to apologize to the staff member concerned for my error in initiating this relationship," Strauss-Kahn said. "She is a talented economist and consummate professional. I acknowledge and regret the difficult situation this has created for her. I also apologize to my wife and family," he added.
He told the IMF staff to focus on their work during the critical days of the financial crisis and not to be distracted by rumors.