WASHINGTON (AP) - Navy Secretary John Dalton ordered one retired Navy admiral reduced in rank and censured two others for failing to prevent the Tailhook sex scandal, the Pentagon said Friday.

Dalton also ordered "non-punitive" administration actions against 30 other admirals who attended the rowdy 1991 Tailhook Association convention in Las Vegas, where dozens of women were groped and fondled by Navy and Marine Corps aviators.

Among the 30 is the chief of naval operations, Adm. Frank Kelso II, who received a letter of caution, the Navy said in a statement.

Several weeks ago, Dalton recommended that Kelso be removed from office for showing a "lack of leadership" over the incident.

But Dalton was overruled by Aspin, and Kelso was allowed to remain at the Navy's helm.

Instead, Aspin directed Dalton and Kelso to review the files of the admirals who had attended the session, and they did so, one source said.

The most severe action Friday, taken against retired Vice Adm. Richard Dunleavy, means he will remain at the two-star level, instead of the three-star rank he carried before retirement.

Dunleavy was allowed to retire last summer at one star rank below the highest one he had held.

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The punishment could cost him some $100,000 or more during his retirement, the statement said.

Dunleavy was assistant chief of naval operations for air warfare at the time of the Tailhook convention.

"More than any other individual, Adm. Dunleavy was responsible for the failures at Tailhook," Dalton said in the statement. "His performance of duties after Tailhook was similarly flawed."

Dalton specifically faulted Dunleavy for being aware of, condoning, and not acting to prevent the gantlet, such actions as "mooning," and the presence of strippers in hospitality suites rented by aviation squadrons.

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