Federal election officials have cleared former presidential candidate Wesley Clark (search) of any wrongdoing for accepting payment from the University of Iowa for a speech he delivered there last September after announcing his presidential bid.

Clark's campaign said last October that he would return the money from the Sept. 19 foreign policy speech at Iowa's law school, but three students filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (search) anyway. They contended that Clark violated rules barring candidates from accepting payment for speaking at campaign-related events.

FEC lawyers concluded that the law school made reasonable efforts to maintain an academic tone during Clark's appearance, and that campaign-related events held off campus didn't involve the university. The commission agreed, voting 5-0 last month to dismiss the complaint.

The FEC released the outcome of the case Monday.