Denied CBP public trust suitability DESPITE mitigating evidence? Recourse?

Recently I received word from my perspective employer that i received an unfavorable suitability determination for my CBP public trust.

No outstanding debt
No Criminal History
No drug use
No foreign contacts

What happened was around November of last year someone tried to use my name and address to send oxycodone to my place. I only found this out because of the NOPA letter I received. I remember having a 10 second interaction with a cop at my door (my parents place) hold a package asking if i was expecting something from the UK. I told him no and he left. 10 months nothing. Fast forward i got a job with GDIT. I got the NOPA letter saying as much. I hired a lawyer to give a detailed mitigating nopa response. I never received anything, was in its possession or even knew what was in it. Literally 0 preponderance of evidence. I had 8 character letters and a bunch of other stuff.

I had NOTHING to do with this. They had 0 preponderance of evidence Despite that, they still denied me. What is my recourse? Im looking into a MSPB hearing but what else can I do? Can i still apply to other public trust positions not cbp? It would be unfathomable if I couldnt do anything government for something i didnt do.

Mitigating information does not automatically eliminate an issue. There are several factors the adjudicator has to look at as part of their decision.

The BI process is a risk assessment program. Your issue was less than one year, there was no clear reason why the drugs were sent to your address - or why/why not the sending party sent it to you. They may have been additional factors/information available to the adjudicator that is not presented here.

Good luck with your appeal.

A NOPA means the government is going to propose a denial. It is then up to the subject to essentially change their mind.

Also, you must respond exactly as instructed. If you miss the mark, tough. And “character letters” are generally not what is asked for in a NOPA response. Such documents do not present facts against any suspicions or charges.

I’ve seen a lot of NOPA responses over the years where people write their response as if texting. It’s incoherent. It does not address the concerns listed. And such responses usually provide no evidentiary proof.

This. All persons entering government service represent a risk. The government must decide on a case-by-case basis how much risk it is willing to accept for a given position.


The response was written by a lawyer. 1750 it cost.

I appreciate the response. But isn’t there a preponderance of evidence standard?

That’s the problem: They didn’t ask the lawyer to explain the problem, they asked you.

You are thinking the security clearance is a court where you win just through evidence. You have to win through reassurance.

A prosecutor may decline to pursue a case for many reasons, usually if they think they might not win.

The BI process is not a criminal process. The adjudicator has to make a decision on all of the information presented.

Different jobs and different agencies have different risk aversions and exceptions. CBP is very sensitive to drugs and customs violations among other issues.

So it’s completely capricious in nature? Seems unjust. I’m going to take this before an ALJ or MSPB. Preponderance is the adjucative guidelines

Not necessarily, but the adjudicator/agency looks at the whole person to determine the risk.

Good luck with your quest.

A clearance is NOT a right. No one is guaranteed anything.