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U.S. Attorney won't seek cyber-stalking case against Paula Broadwell

TAMPA — The Justice Department will not pursue a federal case of cyber-stalking against the mistress of former CIA director David Petraeus, who is accused of sending inappropriate emails to Tampa socialite Jill Kelley.

A brief statement released by U.S. Attorney Robert O'Neill's office announced the decision Tuesday, ending an investigation of emails that triggered a scandal that ended Petraeus' career and put MacDill Air Force Base in an uncomfortable national spotlight.

"As federal prosecutors, we are guided in the discharge of our responsibilities by considerations of fairness and justice," the statement by O'Neill spokesman William Daniels said. "The prosecution of a case is undertaken only after the most careful review and analysis of the evidence and applicable law."

His statement provided no further rationale about the decision.

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

Broadwell apparently sent emails to Kelley warning her to stay away from Petraeus, former commander of U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, and Gen. John Allen, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan and former acting and deputy director of CentCom.

A spokesman for Broadwell said she and her family are "pleased with this decision and pleased that this is resolved."

Her attorney has not been notified that she is the subject or target of any other Justice Department investigation.

Broadwell, who also is a reserve Army officer, is still being investigated by the Pentagon for allegedly mishandling classified information. FBI investigators found a "substantial amount" of material marked classified at her home.

Kelley's New York attorney, Abbe Lowell, could not be reached for comment.

Lowell said earlier this month that Justice officials and the Defense Department were investigating Kelley's complaint about unauthorized government leaks in the case.

"The earliest and best example of the leaks would be the release to the media of the names of my clients," Lowell had told O'Neill's office, noting the leaks may violate the federal Privacy Act.

Lowell said Justice and Defense Department officials referred the matter to their respective inspector generals, which he said investigate agency wrongdoing.

Defense and Justice officials have said they will not discuss, or even confirm, that inquiry.

The Pentagon also is investigating emails between Kelley and Allen to determine if they were inappropriate.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report. William R. Levesque can be reached at levesque@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3432.

U.S. Attorney won't seek cyber-stalking case against Paula Broadwell 12/18/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 10:26pm]
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