Jill Kelley claims she is a social liaison to Centcom, but what does that mean?

11:55 PM, Nov 13, 2012   |    comments
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TAMPA, Florida -- It's a salacious society scandal and Tampa is the bullseye. New video of South Tampa socialite Jill Kelley, who is embroiled in a quickly unraveling story of possible illicit affairs with General David Patraeus, has the city buzzing. At issue is Jill Kelley's position as a base liaison.

U.S. Central Command, aka Centcom, where the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are orchestrated, sent an email to Business Insider saying, "Mrs. Kelley has no official position with U.S. Central Command. She is a volunteer and a private citizen, not an employee; because of this, and because there is an ongoing investigation, we have no additional information to provide."

Retired Colonel E.J. Otero Junior, who recently ran against Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor and lost, is well acquainted with MacDill Air Force Base, having served 14 years there. He tells 10 News that Jill Kelley's claim of being a base liaison is self-appointed and it's not an official position.

Otero said, "Some in the media think that she was some kind of ambassador with a real title. No, it wasn't. She was an honorary person, a volunteer working for the coalition."

When media pressure became intense, Kelley called 911 claiming she was a diplomat and that mandated police protection. That claim was investigated as well, and initiated a response from the State Department.

Mark Toner with the State Department says Jill Kelley "has no formal affiliation with the State Department."

"I can assure you that she does not work for the State Department," he said.

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