By Debbie Gregory.
The Pentagon says it will not dock retired Army Gen. David Petraeus one star, in spite of his conviction on charges of leaking classified information to his biographer and former lover.
After Petraeus’ guilty plea, then-Army Secretary John McHugh reviewed the matter and determined that the general’s final pay grade should remain unchanged. McHugh retired in November.
“The Army completed its review of his case and recommended no additional action,” Stephen C. Hedger, assistant defense secretary for legislative affairs, wrote the Senate Armed Services Committee. Hedger added that that Defense Secretary Ash Carter considers the Petraeus matter closed
Media reports had surfaced that indicated the Pentagon was considering downgrading Petraeus to a three-star general. Holding his current rank, while prestigious, also allows him to collect a pension of around $220,000. Loss of a star could have cost him tens of thousands of dollars a year.
Petraeus, the highest-profile commander of his generation, resigned from the CIA in November 2012 following an extramarital affair with biographer Paula Broadwell. During the course of the relationship, Petraeus divulged a massive amount of sensitive data to Broadwell.
He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of unlawful removal and retention of classified materials. The federal court levied a fine of $100,000 against him and placed him on two years’ probation in the plea deal, allowing him the opportunity to avoid prison time.
Petraeus admitted that he loaned Broadwell binders that contained the identities of covert officers, war strategy, diplomatic discussions and intelligence capabilities and mechanisms, as well as discussions from high-level National Security Council meetings and discussions with the president of the United States.
Broadwell, an Army intelligence officer, met and traveled with Petraeus several times for research on her book. They maintain that their affair began after Petraeus left the military.