Secret Clearance. No top secret involved
I was fired from my job for using a work computer for personal purposes and clearing the logs of some virus detections using the antivirus software (no hacking or manual deleting required). Terrible idea, and I deserved what I got. It should fall under misuse of IT programs
Note that my job discovered this because I self-reported the issue and was honest about clearing the logs, and this was a one time bad panic decision not a chronic pattern. I have learned my lesson and am not about to forget it.
I am looking for new jobs, but a lot of the jobs are clearance adjacent so I will need to admit the whole story. Do I have any hope of getting my clearance sorted out? I plan to speak to a lawyer as well, but am I about to be stuck in loss of jurisdiction and/or have my clearance revoked?
I am assuming this incident was recent?
Yup. Incident happened last month
This reminds me of an incident at a previous employer where an employee falsified some audit logs in an attempt to cover up his failure to pull logs for a couple days. He was fired and his clearance was pulled. He got another cleared job at a different company maybe two-three years later. So the passage of time may be one way you can get back into the cleared world.
I am wondering why you would speak to a lawyer? (rhetorical question)
With the usual disclaimer, I am not, nor ever have been an adjudicator, the fact that this event was so recent is going to be your stumbling block. You have not had time to establish that measures have been taken so that it doesn’t happen again. Nothing against you, or your word, but time is the best indicator that adverse actions don’t repeat.
To be blunt, you used a work computer for personal reasons, then tried to cover it up.
It is always the cover up that causes issues. Analogy: smoking dope. Its wrong. Not a show stopper. Smoking dope, falsifying clearance forms, certifying they are correct…takes to another level. It is the willingness to deceive at stake. Would you do that with classified? That is the risk.
I would come to terms with company, learn how they phrase the situation and be forthright with their wording. You dont want to imply you simply left job…if they say fired for misconduct and coverup…be honest.
I did. What I’m hoping for is that:
- The fact that I have conducted myself well generally can establish that this was an isolated incident
- The accountability aspect of this taught me a hard lesson that will help me never repeat behavior like this again
- I did try to cover it up but I did not realize that I was accessing an unauthorized system.
- I voluntarily told my manager about it and self reported
There’s no question my conduct was inexcusable, but I paid the price and hope that will show someone I learned my lesson.
I will 100% be honest on the clearance - no dishonesty whatsoever.
I’m not as sure what I’m going to do during interviews up until there, because I need to get the chance.
Thank you all for your input. I am pushing hard for uncleared work and will probably remain unemployed for longer, but I think it’s worth it.
In 2-3 years if I’m looking I will revisit it, and hopefully the passage of time + other mitigations I am putting in place will make me worthy again.