Senators and Mitigation

Hi All,

I realize in this situation I may be screwed, but could use genuine feedback so I can start to plan out the next steps in my career if this thing doesn’t work out.

So, recently started a job with the contingency on obtaining a full secret clearance in the long run. Already sent in the paperwork, was denied interim, met with my special investigator and now (from what I understand) the next step in the process is adjudication. It’s been roughly a month since the investigator wrapped things up and sent in my case, and I’m assuming that I’m currently on backlog with the other thousands of cases on the docket for the DoD. But as I’m currently “working” (and not able to actually work on my project b/c of lack of interim) I was told it would be a good idea to contact my state senator to expedite the process.

Here’s where I think I’m screwed: I self reported drug use involving MJ (30 times, vast majority of times in years past with only 1 time in the past year in December on a trip to Colorado) Adderall (3 times, once during finals last year) and Shrooms (one time, over a year ago).

I get that this is a lot to mitigate; I tried to mention to the investigator that I was young as stupid (22 y/o now, right out of college) and that I put everything behind me for my professional career, it was stupid to try/do it, never purchased anything and was always in social settings, etc. But I also understand that, to mitigate a lot of these drug related concerns separately it takes 6-12 months at the least, and I’ve barely just passed the 6 month mark for multiple “flags”. Which is why, besides expediting their decision, I wrote to my senators because hopefully it might look good to get a nudge from a political figure behind me during the adjudicators decision.

So am I toast here? I’ve done plenty of research, but the best advice I’ve gotten/gleamed has been “maybe”. I’m on the fence about starting to apply for other jobs again in non-security related fields until maybe more time has passed (obviously not doing/planning on doing drugs for the duration of my career), or should I hang tight and wait for a decision?

Thanks in advance for the advice!

None of us can say how your clearance will end up, but obviously there are significant issues.

Just to be clear, contacting a Congressperson will have no effect on the result of your adjudication. They might only affect the timeline of your adjudication, but even this is questionable. When a Congressperson submits an inquiry, then the investigation is pushed up in importance. They say that the same thing happens for adjudication, but I am skeptical, since mine took about normal time despite the investigation getting pushed along quickly.

If you are at work and won’t get fired for adjudication taking a few months, then I suggest against contacting your Senator.

Yeah thats kind of the response I was expecting; I was hoping for an indication leaning more one way or the other as to how the clearance will end up but I understand a lot of factors go into this and it is all very subjective.

Thanks a lot for the advice though, it seems like most people I’m working with are understanding that the gov has a large backlog with this. I was hoping at least that there might be a chance to get approved an interim clearance down the line, but it seems like that won’t be possible?

Your clearance is already proceeding quite quickly. It took me 6 months before I had an investigation (immediately after contacting Senator), and I couldn’t start work until I had either an interim or full clearance. My file closed within 1 month of that, then I was adjudicated in 3 weeks. The process is subjective in some ways, but objective in others. Timelines seem incredibly subjective, being highly affected by workload in the area, expedition requests, complexity, and sometimes people just getting stuck in the process.

It’s highly unlikely that you would be approved for an interim if you are denied (“pending”). This is because of how the process works. A very brief investigation is done of you, mostly looking over the SF-86 and credit reports to verify the basics, then this is sent to an adjudicator to decide if you should be granted an interim. Note that your sponsor also needs to explicitly request an interim, otherwise they skip this step. Success or fail on the interim, the investigation then proceeds from there. At no point have I heard of the case being sent back to an adjudicator until it is finished being investigated.

But like I said, you are moving quickly, and your employer should know what to expect if they require you to get a clearance.