A member and former chairman of the Penn State board of trustees has resigned, saying his presence on the board had become "a distraction and an impediment" to the university's efforts to move forward following the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. Steve Garban's resignation last night made him the first board member to leave since the crisis engulfed Penn State. Garban, who had stepped down as board chairman after Sandusky's November arrest but had remained a board member, was harshly criticized over his handling of the Sandusky case. Fellow board members and alumni had called for him to resign.
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. While Garban is the first trustee to resign following the Sandusky scandal, he's not the first board casualty. Incumbent trustee Anne Riley lost re-election last spring as alumni upset over the board's handling of the crisis picked three new trustees.