Ex-IMF chief released; succession plan set

Reporters camped out yesterday at the building where former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn initially planned to stay. Reporters camped out yesterday at the building where former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn initially planned to stay. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)
Globe Wire Services / May 21, 2011

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The former leader of the International Monetary Fund was released from a New York City jail late yesterday afternoon after spending nearly a week behind bars on charges of trying to rape a hotel maid.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was released from the custody of the city Department of Correction shortly after 5 p.m. and was handed over to the security firm managing his house arrest.

The onetime French presidential candidate posted $1 million cash and $5 million bond, and a judge signed off on an order clearing him to be released from the Rikers Island jail.

Defense lawyer William W. Taylor said outside court yesterday that neighbors in the building where Strauss-Kahn was initially to stay complained about the media attention, and he decided to go elsewhere out of respect for them.

At least one armed guard will be watching him at all times, and he’ll have to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet on his ankle.

Once he is settled somewhere permanent, he’ll be allowed to leave only for court dates, meetings with his lawyers, doctor appointments and weekly religious services, and he’ll have to tell prosecutors where he’s going at least six hours in advance.

Meanwhile, the executive board of the IMF says it will accept nominations from member countries for candidates to succeed Strauss-Kahn over the next three weeks.

The 24-member executive board, which will pick the next IMF chief, says the nomination window will open Monday and close June 10. It says the nominations will be held in secret until the executive board has narrowed the list to three candidates and those three names will be announced.

The board said it wants to pick a new managing director by June 30.

In Washington yesterday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that the United States will support a successor to Strauss-Kahn who can command “broad support.’’

“We are consulting broadly with the fund’s shareholders from emerging markets, as well as advanced economies,’’ Geithner said in a statement in Washington. “It is important that this be an open process and one that moves quickly to select new leadership for the IMF.’’

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde emerged as the leading contender to replace Strauss-Kahn, as European officials moved to maintain control over the institution that approved a record $91.7 billion in emergency loans last year and provides a third of the euro-area’s bailout packages.