By Barbara Starr
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.
General Allen's nomination to be the military head of NATO was put on hold by the administration pending the outcome of the IG review. The secretary of defense now must decide whether to recommend to the White House whether the nomination, which has been put on hold, should go forward. But it was not known if Sec. Leon Panetta would make that decision or leave it for the next secretary of defense to decide.
The Pentagon released as statement late Tuesday that said Panetta was "pleased" with the conclusion of the inspector general's investigation.
"The Secretary has complete confidence in the continued leadership of General Allen, who is serving with distinction in Afghanistan," the statement read.