A four-star general who once led the U.S. military's Africa Command has been demoted for misusing taxpayer money.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said this week General William “Kip” Ward, former head of AFRICOM, will lose one of his four stars and will be forced to repay $82,000 to the military.
Investigators have concluded Ward misused funds, military aircraft and staff, bringing his wife along on trips and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on travel and accommodations.
He was also found to have accepted favors from a Defense Department contractor.
Ward denies the accusations. Since serving as head of Africa Command from 2007 to 2011, he has worked as special assistant to the Army vice chief of staff.
The demotion to three-star general means that Ward will retire at a lower pay grade.
The move has no apparent connection to the sex scandal that recently led retired general David Petraeus to resign as CIA director.