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US general demoted for splurging

14 November 2012, 09:42

Washington - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has demoted the former head of the US Africa command who was accused of spending thousands of dollars on lavish travel and other unauthorized expenses, a senior US official said on Tuesday.

Panetta stripped General William "Kip" Ward of a star, which means that he will now retire as a three-star lieutenant general. 

He also has to repay the government $82 000.

The demotion comes as retired army general David Petraeus resigned last week as CIA director because of an extramarital affair and Marine General John Allen is being investigated for improper communications with a woman who allegedly received harassing e-mails from Petraeus' former lover.

The inspector general found that Ward used military vehicles to shuttle his wife on shopping trips and to a spa and billed the government for a refuelling stop overnight in Bermuda, where the couple stayed in a $750 suite.

The report detailed lengthy stays at lavish hotels for Ward, his wife and his staff members, and the use of five-vehicle motorcades when he travelled to Washington.

- AP


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