Public Trust Re-investigation

Good afternoon everyone & Happy Holidays!

If anyone could give me their thoughts, it would be much appreciated!

I started working in a Moderate Risk Public Trust position in 2010.

Summer of 2015 I was at a bbq, got drunk, had an emotional conversation about some health issues, made a fool of myself and proceeded to leave. A friend’s friend offered weed and said it may help. I took it, put in my car and left. On way home, realized I was too drunk, pulled over, and sometime later a police officer came by to make sure things were ok. I was arrested for a DUI and a possession of marijuana. The very next day after leaving jail I called my boss and told her everything that happened and about both charges. She said thanked me for telling her the truth.

Soon after, I learn through my attorney that the marijuana charge was going to be dismissed but I will get a DUI on my record. I also relayed this to my boss.

About ~6months later my manager’s manager (chief) emails me a pdf from the agency, tells me to read it and give him a call. The letter was from our agency summarizing the information that they received about the arrest & charges. It stated it was aware of the arrest, and that the use of marijuana was not allowed. Any further incidents could possibly remove me from the position. From my understanding, the letter wasnt initiated by my boss or anything but came from top down.

Anyway, the summary was accurate of course and my manager asked me to tell him what happened. I told him what I told my immediate manager (she already was in another position, but still in the same org/agency). The letter from the agency stated that my manager would keep the letter for 3yrs and then dispose after that time. I also told him that my marijuana charge was dismissed and that the DUI was on my record.

March of 2018 my regular re-investigation started (all my co-workers, etc had to do one) and I told my investigator everything. That I had gotten the DUI, the marijuana charge was dismissed, both managers knew about the arrests, I had gotten the letter from our agency, and that 3yrs were past -I still had a copy of the letter and offered it to the investigator also. I asked her will the investigation trigger a possible removal from service? She said she didnt think it would since it had been 3.5yrs at that point and if the agency was going to do anything that they would have.

For what its worth, I’ve also received a promotion since the incident (and the letter from the agency).

So with all that said…here I am today with the case finally with the adjudication stage. I think it took a while because of course researching the arrest, but also since I’m an immigrant, probably had to verify my status, etc (though they would have done that when I was first hired).

What do you guys think will happen with the final determination? Should I be ok since the agency has known about it since 2015 (now over 4yrs)? Think they’ll ask me to do anything else, or do anything further like drug/alcohol abuse classes, tests, or worse like suspense or fire me? I was 100% honest about my stupid actions. No other criminal, credit, legal issues. Just the arrest, 1 misdemeanor DUI, and 1 dismissed marijuana charge.

Either way, good or bad, I’ll let you guys know how it gets resolved.

Many thanks for reading my long story and any guidance that can be offered…or condolences haha.

I would assume you’re good. Other than get arrested you did literally everything as you should. Please keep this forum posted when you know.

I don’t believe public trusts are reinvestigated at this time. I know people who’ve been on contract over 15 years with no MRPT reinvestigation. I could be wrong but public trusts are contract specific and only valid then. I’ve had a few 85C forms roll through but that was within a 2 year span from when a person left a contract holding a public trust then needed a new public trust for a new contract. Eh, what do I know??

Thank you! Yes, I think I did everything in my power after the incident. I’d be happy to take a suspension or take drug/alcohol tests everyday if that’s what it takes for them to not fire me haha.

Only thing I can think of is the re-investigation adjudicator somehow decides the initial actions of my manager/management/agency/me were not sufficient and that removal was warranted in 2015, and so removal is warranted now in 2019

Thank you for replying!

Can I ask , you said you assume I’m good. I know you never know, but can the adjudicator have my public trust clearance revoked over this incidents even though the agency has known since it happened? What would be reason(s) you think I may not be good?

Much much appreciated!

Yes they can. The adjudicator is the ultimate decider when it comes to your clearance. A security officer can wish you kept your public trust and so can your supervisor and your whole organization but that doesn’t mean they have any authority. Only the adjudicator can determine your fate.

That’s incredible. Is there at least a 2nd level reviewer?

Apologize if I’m repeating myself here but…my manager was told the very next day. My agency - security personnel (??) sent an letter to my manager/myself to sign and keep for 3yrs which also have passed (the manager who got the letter actually just retired but I do have a copy of the letter)…and now 4.5yrs later an adjudicator can simply say all that was fine and good but I don’t like how it was handled and so your public trust position is revoked?

For what it’s worth, and maybe this may help, but soon after the incident happened, I did read the managers guide for punishments for these types of things and the 1st action was a written warning, 2nd was a 14day suspension, etc. So I thought the warning was the letter. Sheesh. I’m an idiot.

I don’t know what agency this is for so i cant tell you the process. Most of them allow for an appeal but again all I know is you have a public trust position. You haven’t even received a SOR yet so I would not be worrying until that happened.

If your agency was going to remove you for suitability reasons, they would have done it already.

If no new information is developed in this current investigation, then I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. Your agency knows and already dealt with your transgression when they gave you the warning letter.

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Thank you!!!

@Marko - You seem to also be the guru with this stuff from all the posts I’ve read - could you possibly share your thoughts!? Would you agree that if the agency was going to do anything, they would have at the time of my arrest and subsequent letter from my agency?

Since it’s in adjudication for a moderate public trust position, how long do you suppose the ajudication could take?

Time mitigates issues. Adjudication depends on the Agency and workload, but on average no more than 30 days if no correspondence or follow-ups are needed. You would already have been removed if they thought it was a serious enough issue.


Again, many thanks to all!

And for the record - I know I made a terrible choice in judgement in not only driving drunk (though I didn’t realize it at the time - my alcohol level was actually .06) but also accepting the weed. I’ve kicked myself many times over the past 4yrs. Just thinking about it makes my stomach sink. I could have hurt someone not to mention myself.

The weed was offered for my hearing loss & 24/7 loud tinitus (90% deaf in 1 ear & losing hearing in the other - a hearing aid is not possible for me). I had literally learned about my going deaf in my other ear (so both may go away at some point - I’m in my 30s!) a few days before it sounded like a good idea to try. I don’t recall the combo exactly but the dude said his granddad had similar issues and the weed helped. I did let my managers and the investigator know why I accepted it. Not sure if that helped. A crime is a crime regardless of intentions or reason for it I know.

Anyway, sorry for the rambling, but wanted to add that so noone thinks I’m a drunk/pothead along with being a complete idiot.

Many thanks to you guys and I’ll surely update you as soon as I hear. I’ve seen other regular posters on the site, and so if anyone else cares to share their knowledge, it would be appreciated.

Regardless, many thanks to all of you, and to all a Merry Christmas!

Yeah . . . there are people who will tell you that weed will cure just about anything . . . It’s almost all BS . . . The entire medical marijuana drive was started by the legalization crowd as entre to their ends.

Its almost the end of February and still waiting on adjudication. I emailed the department that handles them and the reassured me that the reason it’s taking so long is because there are so many cases to review.

At the same time I had co-workers who submitted their paperwork in September and already got their stuff done. Of course mine is a bit more complicated than the normal situation.

@Jmp1013 & @EdFarmerIII - since mine hasn’t adjudicated, and I’m waiting on pins and needles, could you offer your opinion/guess on the outcome? If I’m missing any details, please just let me know!

Thank you!

I think what others have said here is true as far as not worrying too much. If the issue was bad enough to revoke, they’d have done it already.

It’s believable that the delay is just a result of the current state of caseloads at adjudication.

But as you alluded to it is somewhat of a guessing and waiting game unfortunately.

Do you think 3.5yrs was enough to mitigate? July 2015 incident, around March 2019 was when I submitted my e-quip and around May was when I did my interview.

Thank you!

Thank you!!!

I keep going over it in my head. Beyond the stupidity of the night which I’ll have to live with forever…how it’s going to play out now. I mean, for the ~3.5yrs or so after “the incident”, I’ve live a normal’ish life. Thinking about the night, but counting my stars that things worked out and was given another chance.

Even when I heard about the re-investigation, I thought to myself basically the same as you folks have said:

  • the agency has known about it
  • they gave me a letter
  • my supervisor was to keep it for 3yrs (which im assuming was some type of probation) - and the 3yrs were over before the re-investigation started
  • whole person concept - besides that 1 night, i have a pretty spotless record - even a credit score over 800

I just run the scenarios where I can be fired in my head over and over even when I know these facts. Smh.

I’m such an idiot. For that night in July '15, and for now, 3:40am writing all this out with a new born (1st kid!) sleeping a few feet away. Fml. Ha.

Oh well congrats on the newborn! And RIP your sleep haha.

I think you’re thinking about it exactly right. Sometimes you just have to try to put it out of your mind or you’ll go nuts trying to analyze it to death. But I do think 3.5 years is mitigating. The more the better obviously. I had a single marijuana use in 2016 and was granted my T5 in 2019. Everyone is different obviously and I didn’t use while holding a clearance or anything.

I think you’ve done everything right and now you just have to sit and wait, unfortunately!

Haha, thank you! He’s awesome, and prob the main reason why I worry so much.

Your use gives me hope! Also cause I didn’t actually use. Ever. When I told my boss what happened the very next day, I fully expected to get drug tested, and when I got the agency letter, 1000% expected but didn’t happen then either.

I won’t beat a dead horse any longer. It is what it is. Fingers crossed.

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You can find the public trust reinvestigation requirement in 5 CFR 731.106 (d) which states public trust investigations must be done every 5 years.