It was a stunning confession from one of our country's most highly-respected public servants: CIA Director David Petraeus resigned after admitting to having an extramarital affair.
Petraeus is the retired four-star general who led the U.S. military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also served in Tampa for two years as the head of Central Command. He had a real connection to the bay area. And now, Petraeus is one of those superstar household names and one of the country's most-revered military leaders.
During his two years at the helm of Centcom, Petraeus earned a reputation as a staunch and dedicated public servant. He had only been director of the CIA 561 days before dropping a bombshell Friday, that President Obama had accepted his resignation in the wake of an extramarital affair.
"After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours," he said in a statement Friday.
The FBI apparently stumbled on the affair and with further investigation, came up with the name of journalist and Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell. Sources close to Petraeus said resigning was his choice and had nothing to do with the situation in Benghazi, Libya.
The President released a statement, saying in part:
"By any measure, he was one of the outstanding General officers of his generation, helping our military adapt to new challenges, and leading our men and women in uniform through a remarkable period of service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Petraeus is well-respected throughout the military and here in Tampa Bay, where he was responsible for one of the biggest expansions at MacDill Air Force Base.
"Hundreds and hundreds of new jobs in the Tampa Bay area," said U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor back then, at the groundbreaking.
"He's had quite an odyssey," said Petraeus in an interview with FOX13 back in 2009, speaking about his friendship with a wounded warrior Lieutenant Brian Brennan.
Petraeus is also well-known here in the bay, for his kindness in taking Brennan under his wing.
From Walter Reid to MacDill, we watched the four-star General taking a morning run with Brennan and his new prosthetic legs. They later ran the inaugural grand prix 5k race together.
"It means so much more than anything I could ever put in words," said Brennan.
General Petraeus had said he was "looking forward" to testifying on Capitol Hill about Libya next week, but now that he's resigned, it's unlikely he'll do so.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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