The Air Force has stripped a retired general of two stars for having a sexual relationship with a lower-ranking female officer before he left the service. Air Force Gen. Arthur Lichte retired in January 2010. But following an investigation into a complaint filed by a former subordinate, the Air Force has demoted him to major general, the AP reports. That will cut his monthly retirement pay by about $5,000, to $13,000 a month. The Air Force says Lichte engaged in inappropriate sexual activity with the woman. Because the misconduct occurred more than five years ago, he could not be charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The Air Force was, however, able to take administrative action and issued a letter of reprimand.
According to the Air Force report on the investigation, which was heavily redacted, Lichte and the woman officer engaged in sexual conduct that the general said he believed was consensual. The woman officer told investigators that she felt she had no choice because of his rank and who he was. The matter was later referred to a three-member Officer Grade Determination Board, which decides at what rank an officer may retire based on when he or she last served satisfactorily. The board concluded that major general was the last rank he served satisfactorily, and Acting Air Force Secretary Lisa Disbrow made the final decision this week to demote him by two ranks. (Read more US Air Force stories.)