Drug Use and Criminal Conduct by Family Member Results in Clearance Denial
Under national security adjudicative guidelines family members or cohabitants living with you who are engaging in criminal activity can pose a risk to your ability to obtain or retain a security clearance. A Department of Energy (DOE) contractor found this out recently when the administrative judge denied her appeal requesting reinstatement of her clearance. Here are the particulars of the case:
This DOE contractor had two sons (one of whom still lived with her) who both had a history of illegal drug use and trafficking. One of her sons was arrested, charged and convicted of eight felonies related to the distribution and sale of cocaine. The kicker is, the son was subsequently arrested for parole violation (possession of cocaine) in the front yard of the contractor’s home. This information was reported by other community members to the local security office and as a result, the contractor was called in for an interview. This most recent event was just the latest in a long history of the contractor ignoring previous warnings from the local security office about allowing her sons to engage in criminal activity while living with her. Her claims about not knowing they were engaged in illegal drug activity did not hold water, especially when the police found evidence of drug making paraphernalia in the house. The contractor was also charged for conspiracy since the evidence was found in her house.
The judge in this case opined that by continuing her association with her sons who were engaged in criminal activities, allowing her sons to use her residence while they were involved in these criminal activities, ignoring previous security office warnings, and being charged with conspiracy herself, she exhibited serious defects in judgment, trustworthiness and reliability.
The moral of this story? If you are a clearance holder or applicant, don’t turn the other cheek on criminal activity or have any association with the perpetrators, even if they are close family members.