The scandal that won’t quit gets deeper by the minute. After her high powered husband was forced to resign in disgrace as head of the CIA, we now learn that the General’s wife, Holly Petraeus, was given a $187,605 a year job by the Obama Administration in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Holly Petraeus began her career with the CFPB on January 12, 2011 as a member of the newly created agency’s Implementation Team. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created by the Dodd-Frank Law and the agency is under the umbrella of the Federal Reserve. The funding for the CFPB comes from the Fed and it is not subject to Congressional oversight. The appointment of Mrs. Petraeus did not require Congressional approval.
After the implementation of agency was completed, Mrs. Petraeus was named the Assistant Director for the Office of Service Member Affairs. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Mrs. Petraeus worked from 2004 to 2010 as Director of the Better Business Bureau’s Military Line, a program that provides consumer education and advocacy for service members and their families..
Mrs. Petraeus spent 38 years as a military wife and she gained a great deal of experience dealing with the hardships the role entails. She comes from a long line of military figures and her father was General William Knowlton, the Superintendent of West Point when David Patraeus was just a cadet at the Point. She met her husband as his blind date at an Army football game. Two months later, the couple was married and the rest, as they say, is history.
The General’s wife is also a competent and successful executive who did a great deal of good for other military families in her professional life. While no one is doubting her ability, her role in the Obama Administration does bring up some important points. Should a political appointee’s spouse be given a government job that might raise concerns about ethics and conflict of interest; particularly if the appointment comes from the same President who hired her husband?
We must wonder if the high profile position held by Mrs. Petraeus was used by unscrupulous parties to exert pressure on her husband to resign? More importantly, was General Petraeus induced to alter his testimony about Benghazi in any way to protect his wife’s career?
The specter of patronage raises a disturbing cloud of doubt over a potentially volatile situation. It seems obvious that high ranking military and government officials should be extremely cautious about members of their immediate family being placed in a situation that might open the door for potential perjury or blackmail.
Mrs. Petraeus has not issued any public statement about her husband’s resignation. It is highly unlikely we will ever know the answers to these troubling questions. The decline and fall of General David Petraeus will probably remain one of the great enigma’s of American politics.