WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Retired Gen. David Petraeus will not be demoted in rank after pleading guilty to charges of mishandling classified materials, the Pentagon has said.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter agreed with a previous Army recommendation to seek no further legal action against the former CIA director and retired U.S. Army general, and considers the matter closed, Stephen C. Hedger, assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs, wrote Friday in a brief letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee.
In April 2015, Petraeus pleaded guilty in a North Carolina federal court to a misdemeanor charge he mishandled classified information by providing eight "black books" to Paula Broadwell, his biographer and mistress. The books reportedly contained code names, operational plans, and other sensitive materials collected during his time commanding U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011.
Petraeus signed a statement admitting he lied to FBI agents and that he had committed the wrongdoing while still a part of the Army before retiring and assuming leadership of the CIA in 2011.
The Justice Department sentenced Petraeus to two years of probation and a fine of $100,000 and shared its findings with the Army -- which, after a review, recommended Petraeus face no further punishment and keep his four-star rank, enabling him to collect a more-than $200,000 pension each year.
The recommendation was joined by a letter sent last week to Carter by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., the top Democrat on the committee. The letter recommended Petraeus not be demoted, citing his "long career of exceptionally distinguished, honorable and dedicated service to our nation and to the soldiers he so brilliantly led in combat."