It is amazing to me how a select few individuals get in trouble for misconduct with one government agency and within weeks find employment with another agency. Reference checking seems to be a thing of the past and hiring officials don’t heed warning signs when reviewing work history on resumes’. A recent Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA) case highlighted exactly this scenario – here is a summary: The security clearance applicant is the CEO and 51% owner of a service-disabled small business federal contracting company trying to obtain a Facility Clearance (FCL) in order to work on Defense Department classified contracts. The applicant had previously held a personnel security clearance and facility security clearance until 2015. In order to get an FCL, all Key Management Personnel must be cleared. The applicant was initially denied eligibility for a clearance by the DoD CAF based on several instances of misconduct while working for multiple agencies:
  • As a contracting officer for the DoD he was under investigation for bribery and conspiracy for awarding contracts to sham companies and getting kickbacks.
  • While working for the Peace Corp he was fired for viewing pornography on government computers.
  • The General Services Administration terminated him from employment because he misused his government credit card.
  • Arrested for domestic violence assault in 2012.
The most amazing thing about this appeal was the fact the applicant failed to disclose any of this information on multiple security clearance applications. The notes from multiple background investigation interviews reveal a variety of contradictory statements related to employment terminations, domestic disputes, and misconduct allegations. It is difficult to mitigate accusations of misconduct when an applicant has lied not once, not twice, but over multiple security clearance applications. During security interviews he offered explanations that varied drastically from reality and contradicted information he provided in previous interviews. The DOHA judge was not impressed with the applicant’s credibility and not surprisingly, denied the appeal.

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Marko Hakamaa served in various military police positions with the United States Army worldwide for 22 years before retiring in 2006 as a Master Sergeant. Afterwards, he transitioned into the civilian workforce as a contractor background investigator for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) before entering civil service as a Security Specialist in 2009.