The International Monetary Fund said that it retains “full confidence” in Christine Lagarde's ability to continue to lead the organization, despite her conviction for negligence in a French court.
The French court found Ms. Lagarde guilty of negligence over a massive payout to the tycoon Bernard Tapie in 2008, but she has not been fined or faced prison, nor has the decision created a criminal record.
The case stemmed from Ms. Lagarde's decision in 2007 to allow a dispute over sale of the Adidas sports brand to the state-owned Credit Lyonnais bank to be resolved by a private arbitration panel, and then failing to challenge the result.
The court cleared her of negligence over her decision to refer the matter to arbitration but upheld the charge over her failure to contest the award.
Support from France, U.S.:
The French government earlier expressed its confidence in Ms. Lagarde continuing at the helm of the IMF, and U.S. Treasury Secretary issued a statement of support immediately after the Board decision.
The case was another instance of controversy surrounding an IMF Managing Director.
Ms. Lagarde was named to lead the organization in July 2011 after her predecessor Dominique Strauss-Kahn, also a former French Finance Minister, was forced to resign amid a sex scandal. And predecessor of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former Spanish Economy Minister Rodrigo Rato, is facing prosecution in Spain for embezzlement during his time as a banker.
About Christine Lagarde:
The first woman to head the IMF, Ms. Lagarde presided over some of the worst of the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis and is in her second term as Managing Director. She was reappointed in February, despite the ongoing legal troubles.