Workplace Aggression and Lying Results in Clearance Denial
There are many behaviors and disqualifying conduct under Guideline E: Personal Conduct that cover a multitude of areas which do not fit under other adjudicative guidelines. These include dishonesty, anger issues, employment history, falsification, vulnerability to coercion, and rules violations just to name a few. Here is the primary extract from the Adjudicative Desk Reference:
(c) credible adverse information in several adjudicative issue areas that is not sufficient for an adverse determination under any other single guideline, but which, when considered as a whole, supports a whole-person assessment of questionable judgment, untrustworthiness, unreliability, lack of candor, unwillingness to comply with rules and regulations, or other characteristics indicating that the person may not properly safeguard protected information;
(d) credible adverse information that is not explicitly covered under any other guideline and may not be sufficient by itself for an adverse determination, but which, when combined with all available information supports a whole-person assessment of questionable judgment, untrustworthiness, unreliability, lack of candor, unwillingness to comply with rules and regulations, or other characteristics indicating that the person may not properly safeguard protected information.
A recent Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA) appeals case had exactly these type of issues. In 2016, the applicant was a government contractor and he and another male coworker were both interested in dating the same female coworker. The applicant went overboard in his behavior towards the female and made threatening remarks online towards the rival male coworker. The applicant was warned this could affect his clearance, but the behavior persisted. Others in the office became alarmed about the situation and notified the Facility Security Officer (FSO). The male coworker went so far as to seek out a protective order against the applicant so he would stop trying to intimidate him. As a result, the FSO suspended the applicant’s clearance and the company eventually terminated him.
Fast forward in time to the applicant’s current background investigation with a new company. The applicant failed to list the previous employment termination and when questioned about it, claimed he thought he had just been let go because of his clearance status. This explanation was not credible, especially since he also lied about sending the threatening messages to the coworker. The applicant did not mitigate any of the issues and it was a pretty easy decision for judge to deny the appeal.