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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sex Case: Navy Boss To Resign

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Navy Commandant Admiral Frank Kelso has announced he will retire early because he has become a "lightning rod" for controversy in a sexual misconduct scandal that has shaken the Navy.

Kelso, 60, the Chief of Naval Operations and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said only last Friday he would not leave early in connection with the 1991 Tailhook Association convention scandal in Las Vegas involving the molestation of women by male Navy and Marine pilots.

But he told reporters at a press conference Tuesday he was now satisfied that his own integrity had been preserved by a statement issued two hours earlier by Defense Secretary William Perry virtually absolving Kelso of direct knowledge of the Tailhook events or of trying to cover them up.

"I have become the lightning rod for Tailhook ... and the lightning keeps striking. It is time for me to go away and let the Navy have a new leader," Kelso said. "The lightning rod is gone."