ADVICE FROM THE GENERAL COUNSEL

Security Clearance Attorney Sean M. Bigley represents clients worldwide in security clearance denials and revocations. He is a former investigator for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. For more information, please visit www.bigleylaw.com

This article is the first installment of a three-part series on the craziest ways to lose your security clearance. All case details have been taken directly from publicly-available Department of Defense decisions. The attorney has not represented any of the referenced applicants.

One of the hallmarks of any good defense attorney is the ability to remain non-judgmental. I pride myself on that, as do my colleagues. A great many of our clients are good people who happened to make a mistake or fall on hard times.

But some attorneys confuse being non-judgmental with having no sense of humor. I believe that a sense of humor is critical for success in the legal world; without it, constant adversarial experiences will turn any attorney into a combative, angry person.

I frequently joke with my clients and try to help them keep perspective on their situation. In that spirit, here is a reminder that – no matter how bad your cleared career prospects appear – there is always someone with more serious issues.

The Case of the Creepy Colleague – ISCR Case No. 07-13847

We’ve all heard stories about people who get caught watching pornography at work. But rarely do we encounter situations where someone decides to, shall we say, take it to the next level in their office.

The applicant in this case did exactly that on multiple occasions. Yet he wanted to make clear to the government that no security issue existed. After all, “he never downloaded ‘kiddy porn’…only ‘Dominatrix’ or ‘Mistresses’ or ‘S&M’”.

Whew!

In further mitigation, this applicant took great pains to consider the feelings of others. “Although he shared the office with another person, he only masturbated when he knew the other person was not around.”

It gets even better. On numerous occasions “during weekends and/or after work hours, when the Applicant knew that they weren’t around, the Applicant would telephone female employees to hear their voices on the answering machine. He would then hang up without leaving a message.”

“On average, [the Applicant] called three separate women about twenty to thirty times each. One of the women was so annoyed by the hang-ups that she had the call traced and found out that it was the Applicant. She admonished him for the conduct and he never did it again. He states that he learned his lesson from this situation.”

Finally, one weekend in the late 1990’s the Applicant entered the offices of female colleagues, who worked in other buildings, when they were not present and looked at their personal belongings. He had wanted to meet these women and apparently viewed his efforts as pre-dating reconnaissance.

I guess that’s what people did before Google?

Suffice it to say, the judge in this case did not find the Applicant’s mitigation persuasive. You can read the actual judge’s decision here.

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Security Clearance Attorney Sean M. Bigley represents clients worldwide in security clearance denials and revocations. He is a former investigator for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. For more information, please visit www.bigleylaw.com