General William “Kip” Ward, the head of U.S. Africa Command, was demoted today by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
According to ABC News, Ward was accused of using military funds on lavish travel and other unnecessary expenses. Ward was stripped of a star and will now retire as a three-star lietenant general. Ward has also been fined $82,000.
The demoted general will also see his annual pay decrease by about $30,000. As a four star general, Ward would have made about $236,000 a year after retirement. He will now make $208,000.
A report by the Defense Department Inspector General found that Ward allowed his wife to use military vehicles for shopping trips. Ward also allegedly used military funds to put his family up in lavish hotels. Ward is also accused of extending his overseas trips for personal reasons at the expense of the military and for using his connections to get his wife backstage Broadway tickets to meet Denzel Washington.
General William Ward was the military’s first commander of Africa Command and has been serving in the military since 1971. He has done oversea tours in in Korea, Egypt, Somalia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, and Germany as well as several tours in the United States.
The General’s demotion comes just a few days after news broke about General David Petraeus’ affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell. Yahoo notes that Marine Gen. John Allen is also being investigated for improper communications with Jill Kelley, the woman who reported the Petraeus affair.