The Florida socialite at the centre of the David Petraeus sex scandal was awarded one of the US military’s highest civilian honours after being nominated by the disgraced general, it has emerged.
Gen. David Petraeus and Jill Kelley
– Jill Kelley received military civilian honour from David Petraeus (Telegraph, Nov 22, 2012):
Jill Kelley, whose complaint to the FBI sparked the inquiry that led to Mr Petraeus’s resignation as CIA director, received the “Outstanding Public Service” prize from him at a ceremony in March last year.
The 37-year-old “social liaison” to the US military in Florida was praised in the award citation for the lavish parties she threw at her mansion in Tampa for senior officials and their spouses.
“These events promoted camaraderie, understanding and a better appreciation for Coalition and military customs, concerns and abilities,” it said.
Mrs Kelley complained to a friend in the FBI’s Tampa office after receiving emails from Paula Broadwell, Mr Petraeus’s biographer and mistress, allegedly threatening her to stay away from him.
The inquiry uncovered details of the four-star general’s affair with Mrs Broadwell as well as multiple emails between Mrs Kelley and Gen John Allen, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan.
Mr Petraeus recommended Mrs Kelley for the award while serving as commander of US Central Command in Tampa. By the time of the ceremony in Washington, he was leading the war in Afghanistan.
He presented her with a silver medal, lapel pin and certificate for the prize – which is the second-highest given to civilians by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Emails released to the media yesterday by a US energy executive shed more light on an alleged attempt by Mrs Kelley to use her role as an honorary consul to South Korea to profit from a business deal.
Adam Victor, the chief executive of TransGas, claims that after they met in August at the Republican party convention in Tampa, Mrs Kelley offered to help him secure lucrative Korean energy contracts.
He says that he backed out after Mrs Kelley, who claimed that Mr Petraeus had helped her secure the diplomatic role, requested a commission fee amounting to $80 million (£50 million).
Friends of Mrs Kelley have dismissed Mr Victor’s claims.
However, he claims that emails show that she was eager to pursue the multi-billion dollar deal and was persistent after he walked away.
“My husband is in agreement with me cancelling our 13th Anniversary dinner plans,” Mrs Kelley allegedly wrote in one email. “Please call me.”