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Tel:      (202) 293-0534

McAdoo Gordon & Associates, P.C.

1140 19th Street, N.W.

Suite 602

Washington, DC  20036

Representative Cases - Security Clearance

Past clients include engineers and analysts seeking to protect or improve their positions with agencies and government contractors, corporate executives working to win government contracts involving sensitive information, former military personnel transitioning to the private sector, and former government staffers returning to public service.

     Outstanding debts often have a significant adverse affect on a clearance application. Effective representation on this issue can make the difference between winning and losing the case.

THE CASES LISTED ON THIS PAGE DO NOT REPRESENT THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE OF CASES HANDLED BY MCADOO GORDON & ASSOCIATES, P.C. THE FIRM DOES NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE IT UNDERTAKES. CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS, WHICH ARE UNIQUE TO EACH INDIVIDUAL CASE. THE CASES DO SHOW THE WAY MCADOO GORDON & ASSOCIATES PREPARES AND PRESENTS CASES ON BEHALF OF OUR CLIENTS.

The firm's successes include:

Guidelines F, J, and E: Financial Considerations, Criminal Conduct, and Personal Conduct

In a case for a civilian employed by the military, we helped maintain the client's clearance after a medical condition and a failure to receive child support payments raised questions about her financial stability. Evidence about a bad check (insufficient funds) also threatened her security clearance under Guideline J as allegations of an uncharged criminal offense and under Guideline E as personal conduct. We demonstrated, however, that the applicant was not personally at fault for the debts and that the bounced check did not constitute a crime under the applicable state law.

                                         

Clearance was granted.

Financial difficulties, such as unpaid debts or taxes, can raise concerns about "an individual's reliability, trustworthiness and ability to protect classified information."

Guidelines E and F: Personal Conduct and Financial Considerations

 

A client who had suffered from recent financial difficulties found her clearance in jeopardy due to unpaid debts and a shoplifting incident from her youth. We mitigated both concerns by proving that she had incurred the debts due to reasons beyond her control and that the shoplifting had occurred so long ago that it was unlikely to recur and did not cast doubt on the applicant's trustworthiness.

Clearance was granted.

Issues under Guidelines E and F are the most common reasons people are denied clearance. 

Guidelines E and F:  Personal Conduct and Financial Considerations

We helped a key employee for a major defense contractor to gain his first security clearance by mitigating concerns about delinquent debts. Unaware of some of the debts, the client failed to report them all on his security application, only to have the debts surface during the investigation. The firm's effective advocacy resolved the concerns by establishing that the applicant had settled his own past due accounts and that the debts that he had failed to disclose arose - unbeknownst to him - from efforts to settle his father's estate, thereby showing the failure to disclose was unintentional.

 

Clearance was granted.

Under Guideline M, any illegal, unauthorized, or negligent use of an information technology system can raise "security concerns about an individual's reliability and trustworthiness." 

Guidelines M and E:  Use of  Information Technology Systems and Personal Conduct

An engineer found his security clearance at risk because a former employer cited him for viewing pornographic material while checking his email.  We demonstrated that the incident was inadvertent, not recent and not substantial enough to warrant revocation.

 

Clearance was granted.

Guideline B subjects security clearance applicants to scrutiny for their contacts with, and interests in, foreign countries, particularly when those countries are "known to target United States citizens to obtain protected information and/or [are] associated with terrorism."

Guidelines B and C: Foreign Influence and Foreign Preference

Marriage to a woman with relatives in a foreign country raised concerns about the security clearance of a former military officer employed by a leading defense firm.  We  successfully mitigated these concerns by showing that the officer's military service, including his time as a POW, established his clear allegiance to the United States. We also presented facts proving that the officer did not suffer from improper "foreign influence" because he could not speak the language of his new in-laws and thus had difficulty forming any ties with them. Even though his new wife's native country had a history of strained relations with United States, the client regained his access to classified information and returned to effectively performing his duties.

Clearance was granted.

Guideline C cautions that the "exercise of any right, privilege, or obligation of foreign citizenship after becoming a U.S. citizen" can be "disqualifying" for a security clearance.

Guidelines B and C: Foreign Influence and Foreign Preference

With a father and grandmother living in a Persian Gulf state, a business analyst found herself at risk of losing a promotion if her clearance was denied. Complicating matters, the client's use of a foreign passport to visit her ailing father also raised concerns under Guideline C.  We marshaled the client's professional references and the facts of her full story, including her mother's naturalization.  We also advised her to relinquish the foreign passport, to show that it was "unlikely that she could be exploited by coercive or non-coercive means. . . to choose between loyalty to her two family members and her loyalty to the United States.

 

Clearance was granted.

Even connections to an ally of the United States can raise concerns about foreign influence and foreign preference.

Guidelines B and C: Foreign Influence and Foreign Preference

 

A computer specialist faced the prospect of being disqualified for clearance due to his birth ties to a U.S. ally in Asia. Family members residing in that nation, an ownership interest in real estate there, and regular use of that nation's passport gave rise to concerns under both Guidelines B and C. We gathered and presented evidence demonstrating that the client's "loyalty, financial interests, and family ties" were "centered in this U.S." To accomplish this, we conducted a valuation of the foreign real estate interest and placed it in the context of his considerably larger U.S. holdings. We also offered a careful analysis showing that the family members lacked any government or business connections that could make the client susceptible to espionage.

Clearance was granted.