Gen. John Allen cleared of wrongdoing in Petraeus scandal

Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen

Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen

(CNN) – A top general caught up in the scandal that forced former CIA Director David Petraeus to resign has been cleared of allegations that he wrote potentially inappropriate e-mails to Jill Kelley, the woman who claimed she was being threatened by Paula Broadwell, a U.S. defense official tells CNN.

The Department of Defense Inspector General has cleared Gen. John Allen, who currently is completing his post leading U.S. troops in Afghanistan and is in the running to be the next Supreme Allied Commander Europe and the military head of NATO.

“The IG has found the allegations against General Allen to be unsubstantiated. There have been no decisions made on General Allen’s nomination to NATO,” the official told CNN.

Allen’s nomination to be the military head of NATO was put on hold by the Obama administration pending the outcome of the inspector general review. The secretary of defense must decide whether to recommend that the White House proceed with the nomination. But it was unclear whether Secretary Leon Panetta would make that decision or leave it for the next secretary of defense.

The Pentagon released a statement late Tuesday that said Panetta was “pleased” with the conclusion of the inspector general’s investigation.

Secretary Panetta has been informed that the Department’s Office of Inspector General has concluded an investigation into a matter involving Gen. John Allen, U.S. Marine Corps. The secretary was pleased to learn that allegations of professional misconduct were not substantiated by the investigation. The secretary has complete confidence in the continued leadership of Gen. Allen, who is serving with distinction in Afghanistan.

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