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Jill Kelley returns 'honorary consul' license plates

Last month, this car driven by Jill Kelley had an “honorary consul” tag.

Associated Press

Last month, this car driven by Jill Kelley had an “honorary consul” tag.

TAMPA — Perhaps Jill Kelley's "honorary consul" license plates bring too many bad memories to be kept as mementos.

The South Tampa socialite who triggered a scandal that ultimately cost CIA director David Petraeus his job has returned her three "honorary consul" plates to state officials, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said Thursday.

Kelley could have kept the tags as souvenirs.

Highway Safety spokeswoman Courtney Heidelberg said the department received the plates in Wednesday's mail. Kelley, Heidelberg said, transferred her old tags back to her three vehicles.

The department sent a letter to Kelley last week asking her to take the tags off her cars after it received notification from the U.S. State Department that Kelley had lost her position as an honorary consul for South Korea.

South Korea's deputy foreign minister, Kim Kyou-hyun, told South Korean reporters during a visit to Washington, D.C., last month that Kelley had inappropriately used her title for personal gain.

A New York businessman said Kelley tried to use her position in a potential business deal that fell through. Her attorney denied it.

Kelley served at the post, which has no official duties, for less than three months.

Over the summer, Kelley, 37, told an FBI agent about anonymous and threatening emails she had received. An investigation later exposed an extramarital affair between Petraeus and biographer Paula Broadwell.

The revelation ended the career of the retired general, who once had been leader of U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base.

William R. Levesque can be reached at levesque@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3432.

Jill Kelley returns 'honorary consul' license plates 12/06/12 [Last modified: Thursday, December 6, 2012 11:54pm]
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