Retired Gen. David Petraeus may be retroactively demoted for giving classified information to his biographer-turned-mistress while he was still in office, according to a Daily Beast report published Monday. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter will consider whether to overrule the Army's recommendation to maintain Petraeus' rank.

“The secretary is considering going in a different direction” from the Army, a defense official told The Daily Beast, requesting anonymity. The official said if Petraeus is demoted, it will be because Carter wants to send a message about senior officials involved in misconduct. 

A demotion would result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for the former CIA director, according to the Daily Beast. Petraeus met Paula Broadwell in 2006 when she was a graduate student and then again when she started a case study on the military official in 2008, according to USA Today. Their affair began after Petraeus became CIA director in 2011, while Broadwell was starting her biography of him, "All In: The Education of David Petraeus."


The affair was revealed shortly after one of Petraeus' friends, Jill Kelley, reported to the FBI in 2012 that she had received harassing emails. Authorities found Broadwell was the one behind them and that she and Petraeus were involved in a sexual relationship. It was also revealed that Petraeus had given Broadwell notebooks full of classified information from his time as the top commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Petraeus resigned, was put on probation for two years and was fined $100,00 for pleading guilty to sharing classified information.

Petraeus spoke before the Senate Armed Services Committee in September to apologize. "Four years ago, I made a serious mistake — one that brought discredit on me and pain to those closest to me," he said. "It was a violation of the trust placed in me and a breach of the values to which I had been committed throughout my life."