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Admiral Art McDonald succeeded former general Jonathan Vance as commander of the Canadian Armed Forces. Mr. Vance was charged with obstruction of justice last month under the Criminal Code.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

A top Canadian military officer is not immediately returning to his job despite the end of an investigation into allegations of misconduct against him.

That means Admiral Art McDonald’s replacement, Lieutenant-General Wayne Eyre, remains on the job as acting chief of defence staff, the Privy Council Office said in a statement issued to The Globe and Mail on Tuesday.

“General Eyre continues in his role,” said office spokesperson Pierre-Alain Bujold, prompted by a question on whether Adm. McDonald will return to work.

The statement provided no details on when or if Adm. McDonald will return to the post he had held for five weeks before taking leave in February, and being replaced by Lt.-Gen. Eyre. Asked for further details, Mr. Bujold said the office has nothing further to add at this time.

“A determination on next steps will be made in due course,” Mr. Bujold said.

The Prime Minister’s Office, the Department of National Defence and the Minister of National Defence were also contacted by The Globe, but each had no comment.

Last week, the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal said the investigation by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) did not reveal evidence to support the laying of charges against Adm. McDonald under either the Code of Service Discipline or the Criminal Code of Canada.

“In this particular case, CFNIS was able to both identify and interview a large number of potential witnesses. The evidence gathered from these witnesses was considered in the ultimate determination that the evidence did not support the laying of any charges,” Provost Marshal Brigadier-General Simon Trudeau said.

In light of privacy rights, the service said it would not have any further comment.

Canada’s Armed Forces have been in turmoil for months over allegations of misconduct involving senior officers, and the government has faced questions about its handling of the file.

Adm. McDonald succeeded former general Jonathan Vance as commander of the Canadian Armed Forces. Mr. Vance was charged with obstruction of justice last month under the Criminal Code.

In February, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced Adm. McDonald had voluntarily stepped down, and that the CFNIS was conducting an investigation. There was no announcement on details of the allegations against Adm. McDonald, who replaced Mr. Vance as commander of the Canadian Armed Forces.

A government source told The Globe earlier this year that background checks on the admiral did not turn up allegations of sexual misconduct. The Globe is not identifying the source because they were not authorized to speak about the matter.

Retired colonel Michel Drapeau, a lawyer, said in an interview that Adm. McDonald’s professional fate is a political decision for the federal government because he is a government-in-council appointment and can be let go with or without cause.

“To be blunt, it’s a political appointment,” Mr. Drapeau said. “He is certainly well qualified and everything else, but does he enjoy the trust of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence?”

Mr. Drapeau said the question may be whether both feel the admiral remains qualified to lead the Armed Forces now.

“It’s not as if he has a right to return, a right to come back,” said Mr. Drapeau. “It’s at the pleasure of government. He doesn’t need to have done anything wrong. It’s that they may want to pick somebody instead or they may be very happy with him returning.”

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