Dominique Strauss-Kahn Resigns as IMF Managing Director

In his resignation letter, he denied the allegations of sexual assault.

May 19, 2011— -- Dominique Strauss-Kahn has resigned from his position as chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) following his arrest on Saturday on suspicion of the attempted rape of a maid in a Manhattan hotel.

On Wednesday, Strauss-Khan informed the IMF's Executive Board of his intention to resign as Managing Director with immediate effect according to a news release.

"It is with infinite sadness that I feel compelled today to present to the Executive Board my resignation from my post of Managing Director of the IMF," Strauss-Kahn said in a letter to the Board.

"I think at this time first of my wife—whom I love more than anything—of my children, of my family, of my friends. I think also of my colleagues at the Fund; together we have accomplished such great things over the last three years and more," he wrote.

In the letter, Strauss Khan denied that the multiple allegations of sexual assault that were brought against him on Monday. He is currently being held in protective custody at New York's Rikers Island prison facility awaiting his hearing on Friday.

"To all, I want to say that I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me. I want to protect this institution which I have served with honor and devotion, and especially -- especially -- I want to devote all my strength, all my time, and all my energy to proving my innocence," Strauss-Khan said in the letter.

In the press release issued by the IMF it was indicated that the fund will communicate in the near future on the Executive Board's process of selecting a new Managing Director.

John Lipsky will remain as Acting Managing Director in the interim, the release stated.

On Wednesday afternoon, Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, went to the Senate floor to call for the Strauss-Khan's resignation.

"The criminal allegations against Mr. Strauss-Kahn are alarming and undermine the confidence in the institution at a critical juncture of our economic history," said Kirk, a member of the Banking committee.

Strauss-Kahn, a man considered a likely French presidential candidate, was taken into custody at a New York airport Saturday after the hotel maid told police he tried to sexually assault her.

Police say at 1 p.m., a hotel housekeeper entered room 2806 at Sofitel in Manhattan -- a luxury $3,000-per-night, multi-room suite -- when Strauss-Kahn allegedly walked out of his bathroom naked and forced himself on the 32-year-old woman.

As she was in the foyer, "he came out of the bathroom, fully naked, and attempted to sexually assault her," NYPD Deputy Police Commissioner for Public Information Paul Browne said.

According to her account, Browne said, Strauss-Kahn grabbed her "and pulls her into the bedroom and onto the bed." He locked the door to the suite, Browne said.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, was taken into custody at around 4:30 p.m. Saturday, as he was sitting in the first-class section of a Paris-bound Air France jet at John F. Kennedy International Airport, just as the doors were closing for takeoff.

He was sitting quietly in his seat when police entered the plane as though he didn't have a care in the world, police souces said.

Since his arrest Strauss-Khan has been placed on suicide watch in his New York City jail cell.

He is under 24-hour surveillance and has been made to wear a special jumpsuit, which lacks excess material or strings that an inmate could use to harm himself, and is designed to prevent inmates from concealing any objects.

The alleged victim was examined at St. Luke's hospital, where she was also questioned by New York Police Department detectives on Saturday night after the alleged attack.

She was described by a friend of hers that spoke with ABC News as an immigrant from West Africa and the mother of a 15-year-old girl, and as a "good Muslim" who is "not the kind of woman to attack a man."

She is being held at a safe but undisclosed location, according to the friend.