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Marine honorably discharged after Afghan threat warning

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FILE: Marine reservist Jason Brezler, left, is pictured with Afghan police chief and alleged child abuser Sarwar Jan, whom Brezler warned his fellow Marines about before one of Jan's alleged victim's fatally shot three Marines. (Courtesy of Brezler family)

The Marine reservist facing reprimand for using an unclassified email account to send a threat warning about an Afghan official was honorably discharged Thursday.

Maj. Jason Brezler warned fellow Marines in August 2012 about an Afghanistan police chief who was linked to the Taliban and was an alleged child molester, days before one of the suspect's alleged victims killed three Marines.

But Brezler was accused of sending classified information over an unclassified network because he allegedly used an improper email account to pass on the warning, and later of retaining classified information on his computer.

On Thursday, a board of inquiry -- the equivalent of an administrative hearing in the military -- voted to honorably discharge him from the Marines. The decision will allow Brezler to keep his benefits, though he's now denied the honor of wearing the uniform.

Brezler and his family are considering their next steps in the case.

"Jason Brezler is an outstanding Marine," Kevin Carrol, an attorney working on Brezler's case, said after the ruling.

The controversy arose after Brezler received an urgent request for information from his fellow Marines in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. They wanted background information about the senior Afghan police official, Sarwar Jan, who was routinely allowed on base as part of the U.S. strategy to train local security forces before the 2014 withdrawal.

Brezler immediately responded with information about Jan's background, including the allegations of sexual abuse. There is no evidence immediate action was taken, and days later, one of his alleged victims opened fire on the Marines.

His case garnered sympathy in Congress, where lawmakers rushed to his defense. Six members of Congress who also served in the Marine Corps wrote to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus on Dec. 13 asking a string of questions about why Brezler was facing potential punishment, and expressing "concern" about the board of inquiry.

"Brezler did not know the information was classified at the time he sent the email," the lawmakers wrote, adding that the military determined at the time "no harm to national security" had been done.

Fox News' Catherine Herridge contributed to this report.