Worried about TS Reinvestigation and Drug Use during Unemployment

Hello! Thanks for taking the time to answer. Here’s my situation:

Should probably preface by saying that I’ve held a Secret clearance since 2007. In 2011, I was a government contractor for FEMA and my employer put me in for a TS. I received an interim top secret clearance before I left the company to go back to school full-time. I figured nothing had been adjudicated and that I only had a Secret.

While unemployed, I foolishly smoked pot once and tried mushrooms once. Nothing negative resulted from this other than the obvious lapse in judgment. For some reason, I thought everything would be okay with my clearance and the future as long as I was honest about these experiences. I was clearly wrong, and regret everything.

Fast forward to 2012 as I start a new job as a cybersecurity contractor for DHS. When applying for a TS, my FSO informed me that i already had one. Apparently the SSBI from 2011 had been fully adjudicated (I received no notice of this prior). I also had to apply for DHS suitability, which I later received with ease (no questions in the form about drug use).

Fast forward another six months. I was working onsite at DHS (suitability required) when I submitted an SF86c to a DHS investigator for an upgrade to a TS/SCI. On the form, I was open and honest about my past drug use. There were other potential red flags that the investigator highlighted which I later addressed and for which I provided written evidence (I cohabitate with a foreign national that is here LEGALLY and I had my doctor fill out a form regarding medication for depression that I used a few years ago).

One day, during the adjudication process for the SCI, I received an email from the DHS investigator notifying me that my DHS suitability had been revoked. Security came to my cubicle and I had to (embarrassingly) forfeit my badge and laptop and was escorted out. I spoke to my company’s FSO and he told me that the decision was made because of the drug use and could not be reversed. My TS, however, has remained intact. My company let me resign from the position, and I did so one year ago.

To this day, my TS is still intact with nothing in JPAS regarding my DHS suitability being revoked. I realize, however, that I’m up for TS reinvestigation next year. While I’ve been unemployed for a year, I’m on the verge of landing a position which may require the use of my current clearance. Is there ANY hope for me not to lose my clearance in the TS reinvestigation if I’m again open and honest about the events that transpired? The drug use occurred back in 2011 with nothing negative resulting from the experience. Furthermore, I no longer spend time with the people with whom I used said drugs.


Your scenario is confusing, and at the same time, very disturbing in that a lot of people did not do their job if what you state is accurate. A completed and adjudicated investigation just means you are eligible for a clearance, not that you have one. You still need a security briefing and execute a SF-312 before you have a clearance. Once you leave employment it should have been withdrawn and you debriefed. Your clearance is no longer active if there is no need. You didn’t state whether all of this derogatory information was disclosed or known prior to the SCI application, my guess is not. If all you say is true then you used drugs while in a cleared status, which is a big deal.

Thanks for the reply, Marko. I don’t recall ever receiving a briefing or signing an SF-312. This was back in 2011, so I may be mistaken. I was really surprised to see when I started my next job that I had a TS (sorry to have used the word “adjudicated” in the wrong sense).

My drug use took place when my clearance was “current” and not “active.” I’m guess this doesn’t make a difference in my TS reinvestigation, correct? As you said, I was in a cleared status…and it is a big deal. Be that as it may, with all my regret, is there any hope of keeping my clearance or steps I can take to assure it is not revoked?

Impossible to say really considering the discrepancies that abound in your scenario. There is a record of this information somewhere, but it is unknown if it would be found out in a PR. As always, I advise complete disclosure so that if it does come out honesty won’t be the disqualifying issue.

I understand. Definitely don’t want this to be a disqualifying issue. Thanks a lot for the insight!