Infraction with a Safe

Hey everyone. I just wanted to post here and get people’s thoughts on my predicament.

I work at a small company. Roughly 75 employees. Currently, my job doesnt need to be done in a secured area. I spend 90% of my time outside the lab. I have an S clearance, but am in the process of going for a TS/SCI.

A while back, I’d say about two months before, I had a mishap where the safe that I opened didnt shut all the way. I got a warning and had to sign a letter by our FSO. This time, I needed to reference documentation for a piece of hardware we were using. I popped out of the room to check the document. As I was checking, someone entered and noticed the safe was open, and I had left without closing it. My access has been suspended now, pending adjudication.

I realize how serious this violation is. I have tunnel vision when Im working sometimes, and I need to slow down. Im trying to come up with measures to ensure something like this doesnt happen again. Im 27, and scared. I dont want my career to end before Im 30. Right now, Im focusing on winning back the trust of people in the company. But what do you think my chances are of getting removed entirely. This was my first incident in 5 years. Ive always worked to build a reputation of getting things done and being security minded. But I am human, and capable of error.

Ive done some research on attorneys. Should I hire one? Im sorry I cant give specifics. But I need to figure out a way to do things differently. A checklist or a sign or a signoutsheet or something that creates a mental block and tells me that how you enter the space is just as important as how you leave it.

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They’ll do a loss or compromise inquiry and see if there was any loss. They may also review the IDS to see if anyone came in and accessed the open safe. You may also be re-educated on proper safe use/checking, etc.

Good luck and let us know how it plays out


No one entered except for the FSO who noticed it was open. I feel lucky not to be fired honestly. Hopefully they wont take my clearance away. I’m never letting this happen again.

I wound up getting terminated. No further incidents. But they decided to toss me aside. Still looking for work now. Its difficult since my clearance is in LOJ and may take time to get out of that position.