Think it’s not a big deal to provide false information on an employment application? Think again.
If you’ve applied for government jobs, even those without security clearance, you’ve filled out some form of suitability determination. Even if you’re not accessing classified information in the scope of your work, the government likes to have some idea of your trustworthiness…and any previous run-ins with drugs, alcohol, firearms and explosives, in particular.
Even if you’re just filling out a job application, lying can pose serious consequences – just ask Terrance Lee King, a Denver man who is facing up to five years in a federal prison and a $250,000 fine for lying on a security-badge application for the Denver International Airport. On a fingerprinting and badging application, King indicated that he had never been convicted of any disqualifying criminal offenses, even though that was clearly not the case.
Investigators have thus far not found any “terrorist motives” – although they have found that King is a pretty big idiot. As this story breaks, King is already serving time in state prison for violating parole on prior convictions for a weapons violation and drug possession, reported Denver’s Channel 7 News.
It’s a good reminder that not all offenses are created equally, and when suitability determinations screen applicants for drug, alcohol and weapons violations, there’s good reason. King’s case seems to be a clear-cut issue of lying to try to get a job, not human error or confusion.
Questions on Clearancejobs.com frequently include whether or not an individual needs to include a specific incident on his or her SF86. And while we rarely advocate for including more information than necessary, if you’ve ever had a run-in with the law, especially one involving weapons, drugs, or alcohol, you’re better to list and mitigate from the get-go than discover months later you were, in fact, arrested that one time in college you barely remember.