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ESSENCE Poll: Should Government Officials Resign over Infidelity?

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David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell
Former CIA director David Petraeus and his biographer, writer Paula Broadwell
Photo Credit: Getty Images

You’ve probably already heard about decorated Army General David Petraeus, 60, having to resign from his position as CIA director because of an extramarital affair he had with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, 40. The affair came to light after Broadwell began emailing Petraeus’ family friend, Jill Kelley, accusing her of flirting with the general. Kelley then contacted a friend who worked for the FBI asking him to investigate the harassing emails. The FBI was able to trace the emails back to Broadwell and later discovered sexually explicit emails between the general and the writer. Petraeus handed in his resignation on November 9, three days after President Obama won re-election.

“After being married for more than 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment engaging in an extramarital affair," wrote Petraeus in a letter to CIA staff. "Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband as a leader of an organization such as ours.” 


We often hold government officials to a higher standard because, somehow, we’d like to believe their personal code of conduct will reflect in their professional choices. So tell us your thoughts below:

QUESTION:
Should government officials have to resign over infidelity?
Yes, an affair demonstrates poor judgment on their part
29%
No, if they're doing their job right it shouldn’t matter
71%
Total votes: 203

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