Tier II Public Trust Question

A friend and a fellow current Federal employee came to me with this question recently.

Just found out that after 18 years he is going to have to go through a Tier II reinvestigation process for a public trust position. Again same position for the past 18 years with good performance. First time anything like this since initially hired.

His issue is this. Looking at the sf85p he worried about the illicit drug use questions. He has been a straight arrow his entire life with literally no drug use of any kind (didn’t even have a full beer until he was 21) until about 2016.

Shortly after his state “legalized” MJ he got a wild hair and decided he wanted to know what it was like. He was probably 36 at the time. Again, never done anything so much a snorted candy sugar before. So for once in his life he was a “bad boy” and obtained some from a dispensary and toked up. Made him sick but had also had some alcohol with it. Again this was the first time EVER. However a little over a year later he decided to experiment again but with an edible and no alcohol. Again made him sick…

The second and last time was well over 3 years ago and he has vowed to himself never to do it again even if it ever becomes legal at the federal level.

Dude has been as clean as they come and boring as hell since then. Good credit, drinks like 6 beers a year, etc…

His concern is that this falls within the 7 year report period. He doesn’t think there is any way that a investigator could find or verify these instances…might be wrong…and he is not willing to take the chance. Due to his Christian faith (which had always been there but he freely admits to these lapses in judgment of “experimental desires”) and his personal code of conduct and honesty he cannot bring himself to answer “no” to any drug use in the past 7 years. If they tested him today they would only find what he take is prescriptions.

But what he really is afraid of is that by admitting to these two times (1st being over 4 years ago and 2nd over 3) is he likely to lose my job?

Just wondering what opinions are on all this…will 18 years of good stable employment with no history of disciplinary issues and good to great work reports be wiped out due to 2 instances of lapses in judgment?

Thanks. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Good grief.

This post is like a dog trying to pick the perfect spot to pee on 5 acres.

You can answer the question honestly or not. It’s a very binary choice.

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I do not have a definitive answer, but the fact that he has worked for 18 years, in my opinion, with, as you say, only two lapses, does not lesson the impact upon his poor choices. He did twice participate in something he knew to be prohibited for clearance holders. What if someone had two lapses in judgment over an 18 year career, but instead of drug use it was mishandling of classified information, or to take it even further, they shared classified information with someone they should not have? Should the fact that they did this only twice in their 18 year career mean there should not be consequences? What is more relevant than the fact that this only happened twice in his 18 year career is probably what can be presented to assure a reoccurance is not likely.