I recently had three phone interviews in the past three weeks for GS-12 jobs with Dept. of Interior (NPS and BLM). Here’s the straight poop. A month ago I plead guilty to a Domestic Violence and DWAI charge, my first in both cases, and first ever for any crime in my record. I am 52 and was a FED with USDA for 10 years before leaving Federal Service. My question is, based on the three positions clearance levels, should I even bother moving forward should I be offered a position? One is listed as Security Clearance “Confidential” and the other two are listed as “non-sensitive/low risk” with either a security clearance “none” or security clearance “Other”. Is my goose cooked no matter what?
Domestic Violence conviction is hard to overcome for but what have you to lose? Can’t get the job if you don’t try…
Maybe I didn’t phrase my question correctly. I was wondering if anyone out there has a feel for which Security Levels, like those I mentioned in my post, might take me unequivocally ineligible? I realize that Secret and Top Secret are out, but as an Ecologist those positions would not be of interest or relevant to my line of work. Make sense? Thanks agin for your response. If anyone else is willing to chime in I’d appreciate hearing from you.
The standards for adjudication are the same for all investigation types. The depth and effort the federal government goes to dig into your past in the basic difference. These are “wide stroke” statements but in general, the concerns about domestic violence behavior is the same regardless of the position.
An investigation type makes you eligible for low, medium, high risk public trust or national security position. Medium and high risk positions involved detailed background investigations.
I think this adds “wide stroke” clarity to my question. I am trying to gain a better handle on this issue because two of the positions I have recently interviewed for have been classified as “non-sensitive”, “low risk”, and hence I was inquiring about if there might possibly be greater “lenience” used in assessing the degree of my transgression (i.e., attempted 3rd degree assault with a deferred sentence judgement). For example, This is my first criminal conviction ever, so I was hoping that maybe that would be taken into account in the adjudication process as well as my clearance status as a previous USDA employee of 10 years with no criminal activity. However, based on your statement about adjudication standards I am led to believe there are no distinctions in the sense that all convictions for DV are viewed with the same level of concern.
They are viewed with the same level of concern, but always with a review of the circumstances around the incident and any mitigating factors. The whole person concept means that your past counts, but so does the present.
A DV misdemeanor conviction for a low risk nonsensitive position is not disqualifying. Circumstances will be looked at but it and of itself should not prevent you from getting a job.
backgdinvstigator and Marko,
Thanks to both of you for the information, very insightful. I appreciate your willingness to write about this situation and security questions in general that show up here.
I will move forward with full compliance on the background check/investigation should I be fortunate enough to be offered a position.
Following on the previous questions I posted on this thread I wanted to ask a follow up question. After going through two interviews I was offered, and accepted, a position with the BLM out of Denver. Five days ago I filled out the OF-306 form on-line after I received and accepted the Tentative Offer. I was told I should expect to hear back in 3 days regarding the next steps in the process. Fingerprinting, photo, ID badge, etc. While I haven’t heard back yet, I’m wondering if information regarding my recent criminal convictions, as I detailed in two previous posts on this thread, could lead to a withdraw of the tentative Offer? The Position Sensitivity is classified as “Low Risk/Non-Sensitive”. In researching the BI level, it appears that I will be asked to submit an SF-85. Although the OF-306 asks about criminal activity (e.g., convictions), which I reported with full transparency, the SF-85 appears not to have any criminal record questions on it, which seems odd to me. I realize a Criminal Background check/investigation will be conducted regardless. My question is,"Can the information provided on the OF-306 be grounds for withdrawing the tentative job offer prior to moving forward with the “official” background investigation? For example, is it reasonable to expect that my would-be supervisor, who has made it clear she wants to hire me, and with whom I’ve spoken with during both a panel and in a one-on-one interview format, will have access to the OF-306 criminal history record? In this case, upon seeing my criminal activity record is it the supervisor’s prerogative to rescind the tentative job offer based on said information? Apologies for being so long winded.
I have a similar question to you, but mine deals with two previous county government terminations.
Did you happen to get your job or did they revoke your offer?
They rescinded the offer and told me I needed to FOIA if I wanted to try to get information regarding the specifics, but I know why. BLM HR sent me a letter that said it was related to my stating plainly and honestly the charges and conviction I detailed on the OF-306 and my FBI fingerprint check. I pretty much expected this result given it is the feds and there really is zero flexibility for individual circumstances, though I’d hoped that there might be. I was wrong. It was painful as a BLM security specialist asked me to follow up with more detail about the day’s events leading to me now being labeled as a criminal, which I did, thinking I might be given an opportunity to provide my individual experience, however BLM HR, who sent the rescindence letter, told me it was unrelated to my suitability and thus I am free to apply for another fed position if I want to…yeah, right. I’m done for the foreseeable future as there is zero chance of a different result for a position with no security clearance and low-risk designations. So it goes…good luck.
The devil is in the details… and the time that has past. There are very few things that automatically disqualify you. If you were “barred” then you are notified by letter.
The DV incident maybe too new or the details not favorable right now. Frankly, the USG has too many recent incidents of workplace violence in recent years. This is an area of concern.
Finish the DV process and get some time under your belt. If the behavior is not repeated or you can show other mitigation - you have a good chance for a position.
This question is a follow up to responses I received regarding a tentative job offer that was subsequently rescinded based on statements I made on my OF-306 (i.e., reporting of my criminal record) and FBI fingerprint check. Be aware this is kind of a longwinded question, but I want to be clear. Question 9 asks:
- “During the last 7 years, have you been convicted, been imprisoned, been on probation, or been on parole? (Includes felonies, firearms or explosives violations, misdemeanors, and all other offenses.) If “YES,” use item 16 to provide the date, explanation of the violation, place of occurrence, and the name and address of the police department or court involved.”
My deferred sentencing court judgement titled, “Plea of Guilty and Stipulation to Deferred Sentencing Pursuant to 18-1.3-102 C.R.S.” states that, “If, at the end of the specified period, the defendant has complied with all of the stated conditions, the plea of guilty previously entered shall be withdrawn and the action against the defendant dismissed with prejudice”. I am on probation for Third Degree Attempted Assault with a DV “Enhancement” until August 2021, a well as for a DWAI (not subject to the Deferred Sentence offered) that occurred on the same day (Yeah, worst day of my life).
I am not looking for legal advice on this board, as that is not the board’s purpose, however I would value the opinions of those who have spent careers working as background investigators/adjudicators for their advice related to what backgdinvestigator suggested. That is, that I should “Finish the DV process and get some time under your belt. If the behavior is not repeated or you can show other mitigation - you have a good chance for a position.”. I believe given the recency of the DV and DWAI guilty pleas and sentencing (Feb 2020) that backgdinvestigator is entirely correct about the need for me to allow some time to pass before I consider applying for Federal Service again. My question is how much time I might want to consider as being “sufficient” from an investigator’s/adjudicator’s perspective for me to wait before applying for Federal Positions again? Does my February 2020 guilty plea, probation, and deferred sentencing mean that I will still need to report all of the information requested in Question 9 after August 2021, or does the conviction “go away” as it relates to a Federal background investigation for a low-risk, non-security clearance, designated position? Somehow I doubt that, but any advice will be appreciated. As a follow up, will the deferred sentence and anticipated actions taken by the court, (e.g., withdraw of guilty plea etc.) in August 2021 have any influence over my employ-ability after then, or would 18 months still be “too soon”? Do I need 3,5,7 years of time to pass before I have what might be thought of as sufficient distance from the incident? When I do apply again, how would I report this on an OF-306/SF-85 or otherwise convey that my status has changed, if that is indeed even the correct way for me to think about it? Thanks for your patience and taking the time to read and respond to this. I value the perspectives of those on this board with far greater insight into issues like these than I ever will.
You will need to report the incident even with the withheld judgement/dismissal.
The length of time is hard to say - there is no handbook with specific timeline guides. As any other issue, it depends, depends on the whole story.
Thanks backgdinvestigator. I’ll take your advice. If after completing the DV process I am fortunate enough to be offered a conditional offer for another position will my current background check documents (e.g., OF-306 and the “Declaration of Federal Employment)”, which I was told are the documents used to rescind the job offer, be used again? I’m assuming reliance on those documents for the adjudication process would not change the outcome, or would I be asked to update the hiring documents and be given a chance to note my efforts towards rehabilitation as a mitigating factor? Similarly, I’m assuming all subsequent FBI fingerprint checks will reflect my arrest and charges no matter how much time has passed. Any further insight you or others on this board can provide based on your experience is appreciated.
I can’t speak to the OF 306 reuse - just that these documents remain in your record.
If you get to fill out the documents again, make any corrections. You can always explain that you have learned more about the process. When given the opportunity - list details about any issue to include mitigating factors since the incident/issue. HINT: Try to keep the comments to “50” words or less. 50 or less means, just the facts. At this point we are not interested in how someone else behaved but what happened and how did you handle the incident. The BI process is all about you.
For example:5/6/19 My wife and I were arguing. The argument escalated and the Smallville PD were called. I was arrested for Domestic Violence and held over night. The court issued a 14 day no contact order. Later that month I attended anger management counseling. My wife and I completed marriage counseling. The court gave me a withheld judgment and unsupervised probation for one year. The probation wasa completed in 5/20. My wife and I continue marriage counseling and have not had any other incidents.
You will be interviewed if more details are needed. Also, yes, there is a record of the event that will not disappear.
You will need to report this on all future background investigation applications if it falls within the time period asked (end of probation) Regardless of whether the charges are eventually dismissed, you had to complete probation in order for that to happen.
Also, read this: What Does a Disposition of "Adjudication Withheld" Mean?
Thanks backgdinvestigator and Marko, I appreciate your input and advice as people who are more in tune with the process than me. I will be particularly brief and stick to “just the facts” and what I hope will be an appropriate waiting time (e.g., until I am done with probation) before applying for another position. On a final note, I am fully aware that I tend to be overly verbose and probing (blame me as an annoying scientist for that), but my hope is that my questions and the thoughtful feedback you’ve provided will help others who find themselves in this type of self-inflicted situation.