Past Employer Not Completely Truthful

I am currently an intern with a federal agency, and I submitted an SF-85. I had no issues. I’ve been extended an offer for a permanent position with the agency. I completed the SF-85P for a high risk public trust position. Yesterday, I got an email today about a discrepancy between the results of a previous investigation and my current answers. I answered no to the question about if I’ve ever been fired, quit instead of being fired, etc. To my knowledge, this answer was true, and I still believe my answer to be accurate.

One employer said I quit to avoid potential firing. What actually happened is that I was planning to resign because I was transferring to another school. It was a student job, and I was waiting until the end of the school year. In the very last week of the school year, I got an email accusing me of something I didn’t do and putting me on probation for the fall semester and that they’d reevaluate after that. The email explained that I had attendance issues, as well. I believed my absences were excused because I only missed work for classes and other educational obligations. I responded to the email by resigning. I explained that the accusation was false and that I was resigning because of my other commitments (which were an issue for this employer because I didnt work as much as they wanted).

I completely believed that this was not quitting to avoid firing because I wasn’t being fired. I was not told I would be fired, and I never worried that I would be. If I didnt transfer, I’d probably be working there. I explained this in detail to the investigator, but I didn’t get any response. I also sent her the email thread where my supervisor made the accusation (unfinished assignment and absences) and where I responded with a resignation (my reasoning being other commitments).

Am I at risk of not being granted PT? Is there anything else I should or can do? The rest of my employment record is clean. I also have no criminal record, no delinquent debt, no drug use, etc.

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As noted in advice on many other posts, your perception of the situation paints a different picture then the employer’s. When there are issues such as the one you described it would have cost you nothing but a few extra minutes of your time explaining the circumstances rather then risk the appearance of deliberately trying to hide it or a lack of candor. You will most likely get a letter of interrogatory asking about why you didn’t disclose this information. Be up front and honest, and accept responsibility and if everything is as you say it should be mitigated.


Thank you. They requested a statement, which I provided. I also attached the emails in question.

Investigators and adjudicators see this type of thing all of the time. You didn’t resign because you were going to be fired. In fact, you were not going to be fired. You were going to be disciplined in what sounds like a pretty minor way. From your employers point of view, they were going to discipline you and you resigned. It makes sense that they would ask you to explain and your explanation makes sense. That’s all that really matters. It shouldn’t have an effect on you getting your public trust.