The Pentagon’s inspector general has cleared the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan of wrongdoing following an investigation into whether he exchanged inappropriate e-mails with the same Tampa socialite involved in the scandal that prompted David H. Petraeus to resign as CIA director, U.S. officials said Tuesday.
The FBI uncovered messages from Marine Gen. John R. Allen during its investigation of Petraeus last year. The tenor of some of the e-mails, which senior defense officials described as racy and flirtatious, prompted Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta to order a formal inquiry.
In a letter sent to Allen on Friday, the inspector general wrote that Allen had not violated military prohibitions against conduct unbecoming an officer, according to the senior U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter on the record. “He was completely exonerated,” one of the officials said.
Panetta was informed that the investigation had cleared Allen, according to Pentagon spokesman George Little. “The secretary has complete confidence in the continued leadership of General Allen, who is serving with distinction in Afghanistan,” Little said.