Holly Petraeus Remains On Board at Fed Agency

Holly Petraeus

The federal consumer advocacy organization where Holly Petraeus has been a tireless voice for military families said that she remains a key leader despite the unwanted spotlight of her husband's sex scandal.

"Mrs. Petraeus remains a key leader and valued employee of this organization," a spokesman for the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau said in a statement.  "We will have no comment on her personal situation, nor will she release any statement."

The only public reference by retired Army Gen. David Petraeus to his wife since the scandal broke came in his Nov. 8 announcement of his resignation to the CIA in which he said that "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."

According to the general's former aides, he has continued to live with his wife at the home they share in the Washington suburbs.  But, aides have also described her as "furious" over her husband's affair with his mistress Paula Broadwell, a West Point graduate and Army reservist who wrote a fawning biography of Petraeus called "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus."

"Holy is disappointed, upset and furious," Army Col. Steve Boylan, a former Petraeus spokesman told the Associated Press. "But they have been married for 37 years and I hope they can get through this."

Hollister K. (Holly) Knowlton Petraeus, a self-described Army brat, has been a key adviser to First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Jill Biden in their work on behalf of military families in her job as assistant director of the Office of Servicemebers Affairs for the CFPB.

Holly Petraeus recently has targeted student loan scams that victimize servicemebers and she has also focused on home mortgage swindles and payday loan abuses that hit hard on military families.

In her last public appearance, Holly Petraeus was at the Pentagon in October for a briefing with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on the student loan problems faced by members of the military.

Panetta said that "Holly Petraeus leads the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Office of Servicemember Affairs. That's a hell of a mouthful, but it really comes down to this: She is leading efforts to ensure the financial health of servicemembers and their families."

"Holly knows first-hand the challenges facing military families in this and other areas," Panetta said. "She's been an Army daughter, an Army spouse, and she remains an Army mother. She is now applying her knowledge to help protect servicemembers and their families from unscrupulous financial practices and to connect them to the resources available to try to support them. "

The report done by Holly Petraeus on student loans currently is at the top of the CFPB's website. In a note accompanying the report, Petraeus said: "Our men and women in uniform should be able to do their jobs without having to worry about falling victim to unfair or deceptive financial practices."

"As a member of a military family, I understand what it's like to face deployment and to move every few years. It's my honor to represent the military community here at the CFPB, and to make sure that its concerns are heard – and that we do something about them."

Holly Petraeus is the daughter of the late Army Gen. William A. Knowlton. She met David Petraeus on a blind date when her father was superintendent at West Point and her future husband was a cadet.

In what could be seen as the ultimate insult to Holly Petraeus, Broadwell spent hours interviewing her along with her husband in working on the biography. In the book, Broadwell described the marriage of Holly and David Petraeus as "virtually unbreakable."

Last February, while on tour to promote the book, Broadwell, who is married to a radiologist and has two children, said: "As a working mother and wife, my husband works really works hard, it's hard to find balance, you know, it's pretty clear and Holly's pretty clear that she's supported him and yet they have this wonderful marriage and very established children."

Broadwell added that David Petraeus "doesn't like to do anything besides run and do P.T. and read and work, you know, and go out to dinner with Holly."

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