Seeking Secret Clearance overseas with a misdemeanor requiring sex offender registration


#1

I currently have a tentative CIV job offer from a military branch, am the spouse of a CIV fed positioned in Europe with orders, and hold an Official Passport with SOFA. On this application for Federal employment, I listed in great detail a non-violent misdemeanor I had from 14 years ago which required me to register as a sex offender for 10-15 years. I completed counseling and 3 years probation more than 10 years ago. My credit rating is 850+ and have no other legal situations since then. Before I started my last job, I called the HQ Administration staff to see if this information would affect my hiring, but nobody could say yes or no. A few weeks after I started I was put on Admin leave when the formal background check was complete and they would make a final decision within 5 days. After nearly 2 weeks with no response, I was very disappointed with the situation and submitted my resignation. I did not believe I would be fired - because in that interim the employer had asked me to sign both a Confidentiality Agreement and a Non-Compete Clause, which I did. A few days later I received a termination letter in the mail. SO, on the question about "have you ever quit a job in anticipation of getting fired" I answered yes but clarified with all those details. This is all public record, known by friends, family, colleagues, etc. On the SF-86 I repeated all of this, plus anything that could be a gray area - like having British friends who might be considered "foreign contacts" etc., listed both the Official and my "tourist" passport numbers, my brother who is married to an EU citizen and he applied for dual citizenship, etc.

After I submitted the Declaration for Federal Employment, I did get PSIP and Onboarding docs from HR, then a notice that the official OPM investigation has been initiated. Is it reasonable to believe that I may get a start date for this job and ultimately my Secret Clearance? (not factoring the hiring freeze). Thanks!


#2

Criminal acts outside of 10 years with no repeat would seem off the table. However, length of confinement if any can re-characterize it. I'm not clear as to why you resigned after only 2 weeks. Were you anticipating a denial, and didn't want that on your clearance record? You also mentioned a "gray area" of having British friends. That isn't gray at all. If they are not US citizens they are foreign nationals and must be disclosed. So too must foreign contacts on social media. When submitting for a clearance it is a great time to review the Facebook contact list. Sometimes I end up on so many pages and I have no clue how I got there and I see names looking foreign. If I don't interact with them I eliminate them.

Exactly how the last intended employer characterized your departure will be "scoped" by the investigator.


#3

THANK YOU for your reply. The organization's policy was to give me final notice within 5 days, plus the fact I had fully disclosed this prior to taking the job, I simply felt they let me down and might not be a good place to return to after this situation. Some other factors were approaching, such as what to so with our kids who would be out of school for the summer - we did not have full time daycare lined up yet. So without a great need for the modest income, I thought maybe this private sector job was not turning out to be that good and I would either just enjoy staying home with our children and/or seek a federal job in a new environment. A fresh start so to speak since my last two jobs were both in the same arena with personnel who know each other. Might have been awkward. When confronted by Admin leave, I was professional and respectful. Complied with their process and reiterated all the previous circumstances. Part of me also felt perhaps they were passively hoping I would just go away??

I am clear on the British friends not being a gray area - wrong word usage. I fully listed all of our recent visits and social communications. I will double check my other facebook and LinkedIn connections.

And by confinement, do you mean jail time? I did not serve any, just the probation, and will be sure not to do anything requiring it. The main element I wondered about was the presence of my name on a past or current sex offender registry.

Thanks again!


#4

I received a final job offer and was set to start on 1 April. Three days before that Monday start date I was asked to verify the 2003 misdemeanor and registration, which I did. Next day CPAC sent letter that interim was "denied at this time" hence job offer pulled. A few weeks later I got an email from an NBIB official seeking location and availability for an interview. She was coming to Germany and replied she would be in touch. Have not heard back since.

CPAC director had no explanation for the security officer's denial other than he said he didn't think I would eventually get the Secret clearance. Am I entitled to know their justification in light of all of my mitigating circumstances?


#5

Initially my computer didn't open up the previous discussion. Apologies.
Now I understand why you listed the information.

I can only speculate. It seems you are very upfront about the circumstance and situation. I have no reason to doubt you. Having worked fairly close with HR in my current position, it sounds like you qualified for the position, they wanted to hire you, someone made the the hiring decision...but perhaps was over-ruled at a higher level when someone had concerns about the conviction and registration. The interim was denied, the company quickly cut ties with sponsoring you. That leaves you in limbo with unadjudicated information.

I understand being denied the interim in that they need scope the conviction, charges, circumstances etc even if outside the 10 year time-frame. However, once sponsorship ends...nothing is moving forward. Suffice to say even clean living, outstanding credit, etc, still doesn't overcome the apprehension many will have. This is why several municipalities have the campaign against reporting felony convictions. It can unfairly prejudice companies against you. Balance the risk to their employees of future misconduct if they hire a known felon. They are ripe for exploitation from a sharp lawyer. I understand their hesitation and I understand the quandry created for folks like you. We don't use interim clearances with my current client. We simply let the clearance process play out until we hear approved or disapproved.

I would continue to apply for cleared positions and consider rephrasing how you captured the resignation. Explain this differs from a previous SF86 when you meet your investigator. But not on the form itself. This way you can explain your thoughts, where your mind was at that time but the consequences suffered since. If they scope it and find no issues....you can get past this.


#6

2003 non-violent misdemeanor was categorized as Assault and required me to
register as a sex offender for 10 years which subsequently turned into 15
years after the fact as Virginia General Assembly changed their
requirements in 2008/9. I completed the SF-86 for this early 2017 job
application with full disclosure although this situation was not related to
alcohol or drugs.

I was disappointed considering the following mitigating support:

  • Was not a felony. (Misdemeanor charged - No plea)

  • Personal Credit Rating for several years 860+ (We own two homes in the
    states, both rented, no revolving debt)

  • Government evaluates with a "Whole Person" approach; whereas I am a
    husband, father of three, have maintained Director-level employment
    throughout my career, close friends and family with TS clearance, etc.

  • Sterling reputation with access to student academic and personnel records
    (UMUC and Oklahoma); entrusted with handling sensitive data (government
    officials, high-dollar donors, MOCs, Congress & Senate Committees, etc) at
    multiple marketing agencies over 20+ years.

  • Currently volunteering via American Red Cross (passed their background
    check)

I have been forthcoming and candid with all of the related details in this
matter throughout the entire process. So on March 27 when I was asked by
Mishy to provide documentation ...

As per the Security Manager, in order to get the Secret clearance that you
are required to have, they would need a disposition from a court showing
that your case was in fact a misdemeanor and that you are no longer
required to register.

To which I did and clarified the retroactive law in Virginia (where I do
not live or work), I sent her the supportive court documents of term
completion in DC. Next day I received the rescinded job offer notification.

With all of this a matter of public record with full knowledge of family,
friends, employers and coworkers, why would I be susceptible to blackmail
or coercion and not deemed worthy of proven reliability before and since
this isolated event?


#7

I don't think you are being seen as a target for blackmail since you are fully disclosing. I think this issue is more on the side of a risk averse agency. You clearly met hiring expectations and were offered the position, signed the documents, etc. An interim clearance is granted when a "fast check" shows nothing requiring full investigation, nothing out of the ordinary. When they decided they needed to scope the entire charge, investigation etc the agency sponsoring you got cold feet and rescinded the offer. It sounds like a person higher in the chain felt there was risk either taking you on or with the clearance process taking very long (which it already does) and they didn't want to invest in you moving forward with the chance of you not getting the clearance and then needing to break ties to you.

As presented it does sound like "much ado about nothing." As I stated above I would wait until the 15 year mark passes, and then you can re-characterize how you addressed the item and in resigning.


#8

The NBIB official has just been in touch with me again and we set up an
interview appointment. Is it possible my case is still "open" and they can
proceed with deciphering an ultimate grant or denial months down the line?
Or are all these gov officials just not in touch with each other. Simply
can a clearance be granted but then a position is unavailable?


#9

As I said before I think this is an HR problem, not clearance division. Likely someone got cold feet at the company and pulled the offer but failed to submit the termination of clearance letter. Me personally? I would go, have the interview and let it keep moving forward. If the company failed to submit the ending of sponsorship...I would interpret that as intention to continue with you. Even though you were verbally told they withdrew the offer. As my positions are Secret and TS with Poly...if there is questionable events requiring scoping...we submit for the full TS. If the investigation and adjudication comes back as "cleared,' I take that as you have been vetted and found clean. I have several in the pipeline now with old felonies outside the 10 year mark. In some ways it is a learning curve for me as well to see if they clear...then I have more realistic parameters for what will pass Go and collect $200.