U.S. general cleared of sex allegation

Feb. 24, 2011 at 12:29 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- U.S. Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been cleared of allegations of an improper sexual relationship, documents show.

The New York Times reported the documents released Wednesday showed an investigation by the Pentagon inspector general cleared the Marine Corps officer of allegations that in 2009 he had a sexual relationship with a young female military aide.

But the investigators did find fault with Cartwright's judgment and methods of dealing with the subordinate officer. They recommended administrative action be taken against him for failing to discipline a subordinate and fostering an unduly familiar relationship, the newspaper said.

However, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus reviewed the case and deemed there was not enough evidence to warrant corrective action any of the infractions.

"I do not agree with the conclusion that General Cartwright maintained an 'unduly familiar relationship' with his aide," Mabus wrote. "Nor do I agree that General Cartwright's execution of his leadership responsibilities vis-a-vis his aide or any other member of his staff was inconsistent with the leadership requirements."

The heart of the allegations against Cartwright had to do with an incident during a trip to Tbilisi, Georgia, the Times said. The report said the female aide allegedly showed up at Cartwright's hotel room after midnight after drinking heavily with others and was upset about a family health matter.

The woman passed out on a piece of furniture at the end of Cartwright's bed for about 45 minutes while he worked at a desk. The officer, whose name hasn't been released, eventually got up and returned to her room.

The investigation found there was no physical contact between the two.

Cartwright later ordered his executive officer to discipline members of the traveling delegation.

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