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General Demoted in Retirement Resigns from Airbus Board

Gen. Arthur Lichte, Air Mobility Command commander, speaks to the Airmen of the C-130 Hercules Aircraft Maintenance Unit here Sept. 10, 2008. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse)
Gen. Arthur Lichte, Air Mobility Command commander, speaks to the Airmen of the C-130 Hercules Aircraft Maintenance Unit here Sept. 10, 2008. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse)

Retired Maj. Gen. Arthur Lichte has resigned from aerospace company Airbus Group in the wake of his recent demotion after the Air Force's Office of Special Investigations found that he had engaged in inappropriate sexual acts while in uniform, Military.com has learned.

"Today, Airbus Defense and Space Inc. accepted from Gen. Lichte a letter of resignation from the company's board of directors," Airbus spokesman Jamie Darcy said Friday.

Lichte had been a member of the board since 2010. Darcy said the company is not at liberty to release details of his compensation. Lichte "has cited his desire to focus his full attention on his family at this time," Darcy added.

Larry Youngner, of Tully Rinckey PLLC and Lichte's attorney, said Friday, Lichte "appreciates respect for his privacy."

It is unclear if Lichte is still involved with Air Transport Services Group Inc., based in Wilmington, Ohio. He was appointed as the ninth member of ATSG Inc.'s board of directors in 2013.

A spokesperson did not respond to a query by press time. In September, the aviation company told Military.com that it too was "aware of reports of an Air Force inquiry pertaining to his military service, and we will have no comment on the matter until after the investigation is completed."

Lichte is also listed as a board of trustees member for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. A university spokeswoman said Lichte was not a member, but did not provide a time frame for his departure from Embry-Riddle's board of trustees.

Lichte, who retired Jan. 1, 2010, as a four-star after more than 38 years of service, was demoted two ranks to major general and will forfeit roughly $5,000 a month in retirement pay, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said Wednesday.

OSI ordered an investigation into the retired general in August after being notified that a female officer -- who initially had filed a restricted report in July to her sexual-assault response coordinator -- changed her report to unrestricted to involve law enforcement.

The investigation found that Lichte engaged in inappropriate sexual acts with the female officer twice in 2007, while holding the rank of lieutenant general as the service's assistant vice chief of staff and Air Staff director at the Pentagon. In 2009, Lichte, then a four-star general, once again had an inappropriate sexual relationship with the same female officer under his command, the service found.

Lichte was head of Air Mobility Command, headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, between 2007 and 2010.

Per OSI's investigation and recommendation, Lichte would have faced charges of conduct unbecoming an officer, adultery, and having an unprofessional relationship under the Uniform Code of Military Justice -- but those charges have a statute of limitations, Stefanek said.

Youngner said he intends to appeal the Air Force's decision.

-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect Lichte's status with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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