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4-star Gen. William 'Kip' Ward, former head of Africa command, demoted over lavish spending allegations

Fethi Belaid / AFP - Getty Images file

U.S. General William 'Kip' Ward speaks to reporters in Tunis in 2008.

A four-star general who formerly led the U.S. Africa Command has been demoted after accusations that he spent thousands of dollars on lavish travel, NBC News reported.

A senior defense official told NBC News that Gen. William "Kip" Ward was stripped of a star, and will be allowed to retire as a three-star lieutenant general.

According to a Defense Department Inspector General’s Report released in August, Ward took an 11-day trip to Washington and Atlanta, costing $129,000, in which only three days of the trip were official business. The military charged that Ward extended trips seven times for personal reasons and claimed and received reimbursement for expenses.


Ward was also accused of improperly bringing his wife along on government-paid trips — one of those included a seven-day mission to Bermuda — and her unauthorized use of armored vehicles.

Ward denied the allegations.

The Army is trying to recoup $82,000 from Ward, NBC News reported.

Ward’s demotion comes on the heels of revelations about retired Gen. David Petraeus, who resigned as director of the CIA, citing an extramarital affair. In addition, the Defense Department is investigating Gen. John Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, over allegations of “inappropriate” emails between him and the woman who sparked the Petraeus probe.

NBC News' Pentagon producer Courtney Kube contributed to this report.

Those who know the two women at the center of General David Petraeus' affair scandal are speaking out. Jill Kelley's brother says she is "dedicated" to her husband, while Paula Broadwell's friend calls her "a pretty great person." NBC's Kristen Welker reports.

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