Steve Garban became the first member of the Penn State Board of Trustees to resign since the release of the Freeh report, which harshly criticized the trustees and top-ranking school officials for mishandling multiple opportunities to report Jerry Sandusky's behavior to appropriate authorities.
Garban became a trustee in 1998 and was chairman from 2010-11. He graduated from Penn State in 1959 and was an employee for 33 years. His close relationship with late head coach Joe Paterno and former FBI director Louis Freeh asserted that Garban was at fault when he failed to share with the board that charges were pending against Sandusky last year.
Garban planned to remain on the board until his term expired in 2013.
Garban's resignation came Thursday, when he sent a letter to board chairperson Karen Peetz.
"These past months have been some of the most painful of my life," the letter reads. "The horrific allegations that came to light in November have haunted us all, but nothing we have experienced compares to that of Jerry Sandusky's victims. My thoughts and prayers will remain with them always.
After absorbing the findings of the Freeh Report last week, the Board of Trustees accepted responsibility for the failures of governance that took place on our watch.
"It is clear to me that my presence on the Board has become a distraction and an impediment to your efforts to move forward and continue the Board's most important work."