Security Clearance Defense to an LOI and SOR — More Good News

Yesterday, I received the following note from an officer client. His eligibility to receive a clearance was reinstated recently — and his career remains intact and moving forward. Could not be happier with the result. If you need a hand with this type of work, I’d be privileged to help. Just give me a call or shoot an email. v/r Bill 214 363-1828 Office; info@meililaw.com
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I had problems regaining a security clearance after the lapsing of my original clearance, so I needed help convincing the authorities that there was no risk in re-granting the clearance. The inability to secure the clearance threatened my livelihood and put my 20+ year successful military career in jeopardy. I desperately needed an expert in the law that surrounds security clearances. Choosing a lawyer is a harrowing experience and I spent several days making enquiries with multiple law offices, including one which had successfully represented me in another matter, before I came to find Mr. Meili after extensive online research.

I reached out to Bill and found that he and his team were immediately responsive, intuitively sensitive to the nature of the situation and able to convince me that teaming up with Bill would lead to a successful outcome. His forthright manner and easy way with people gave me great confidence that I had made the right decision in choosing him as my advocate.

He immediately worked me into his schedule and after our first meeting was able to quickly analyze the situation and develop a focused and ultimately effective strategy to address the adjudicator’s concerns in a manner far beyond what I would have been able to do on my own. Bill’s strategy and methodology greatly expanded my responses so that they personalized the package and told the whole story rather than the narrow narrative presented in the original investigation. He supervised the construction of a response package that conformed to my own sense of what was needed, but also went places that I would not have considered. He crafted a response that was truly a knockout. We brought overwhelming force of logic to the case and, in my opinion, made it easy for the adjudicator to find in my favor.

Without his help and guidance I would not have been anywhere near as prepared to make a proper — and ultimately successful — run at regaining my clearance, in order to continue service to the country.
KR

Related Tags: Security Clearances – Security Clearance Defense – Response to Statement of Reasons (SOR) and Response to Letter of Intent (LOI), Eligibility to Handle Sensitive, Classified Information, Secret, Top Secret SSI


Unqualified Resignation for a Grateful Probationary Officer

Always good to receive thanks for cases worked and results achieved. The below came in recently from a client who gets to start a new life and direction shortly.

If I can help you, or someone in your circle, navigate the military bureaucracy to expedite and help ensure a successful resignation and honorable discharge, call or email me at your convenience. It’s a privilege to serve. Office: 214 363-1828; info@meililaw.com
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June 2014

Honor, courage, commitment, and, most importantly, integrity, are four words used to describe the expected attributes of a United States Sailor. I can remember training staff repeatedly defining integrity as, “doing the right thing, even when no one is looking.”

Immediately following training, I arrived to the fleet. I was excited and never felt like a greater patriot serving alongside people who received equal training and who I believed shared the same passion for serving others. At least training had lead me to believe this. Unfortunately, my expectations of what the Naval Fleet would be led to great disappointment when everything I hoped for was ripped from my hands. Only months after entering the fleet, I witnessed behavior in the ranks that was negligent and unethical, no matter what moral compass one uses. Quickly, I became the only witness for an investigation that would lead to numerous, varying charges. And then, almost immediately, I became an outsider in my command: shunned, ostracized, and considered an enemy for doing what is right and correct, and expected – according to Naval training. My life became lonely and darkness was closing-in.

I feared that legal action would be taken against me. My nights became turmoil instead of rest. I began praying for a way out. The reality was that my future in the Navy was bleak. My days were growing ever darker and my desperate longing to serve people needed revival. After doing an internet search, I came across http://www.meililaw.com mixed in among numerous Navy regulations and instructions. The website was not listed on the first page, but it was there, and it was the only attorney, so I visited the website. I immediately sent an email to the address listed on the site. Next, I prayed that whoever opened the email would have a heart to listen because the information I provided was vague. The next business day, I received a reply with an offer for a telephone call. The telephone call changed the course of things from darkness to a glimmer of hope. As Bill Meili joined my team, the glimmers of hope brightened. After several weeks of reconnaissance, Mr. Meili made a move on my behalf, and instantly, hope became strong. Of course, in our journey there were many dark and difficult days, but working with Mr. Meili reinforced hope in the next day and the destiny I was pursuing. Today, as I separate from the United States Navy, with an Honorable discharge and full benefits, I can honestly say that finding Mr. Meili that day on the Internet was a miracle. Moreover, because of Mr. Meili, I received TAD orders away from my command, my Skipper and XO became allies, and Personnel Command heard my voice through those who speak louder.

I end with a simple statement. Thank you. Bill Meili became the vehicle for me to reach my destiny, and for justice to prevail in my case. If any service member or professional ever asked if Meili Law could help them, without hesitation, I would say “yes, no matter what the cost.”

TR


Security Clearance Defense — A Good News Update

Updating the topic below on Security Clearance Defense. If and when you receive an LOI and SOR (Letter of Intent and Statement of Reasons), give us a call. We have a proven track record and can help save your clearance, position and career. As a matter of fact, we received word this morning that an aviator client’s eligibility to access confidential information — pulled by DoD pending our response to his SOR — was reinstated. This first class professional now gets to continue his distinguished career unabated.

Yours respectfully, Bill Meili

Dallas Office: 214 363-1828

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DoD revamps security clearance policies
Changes based on probes into Navy Yard shooting

By Andrew Tilghman atilghman@militarytimes.com

Security failures that were part­ly to blame for the Washington Na­vy
Yard shooting last year have led the Pentagon to overhaul the way
background checks are conducted, and possibly shrink the massive roster
of 3.5 million people who hold active security clearances.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced several policy changes March 18
as he unveiled the results of investigations into the shooting that
killed 12 people inside a re­stricted- access Navy building.
The gunman, Aaron Alexis, was a contractor and former sailor who held a
security clearance despite “a pattern of misconduct and disturb­ing
behavior,” investigators said.
Alexis was granted a security clearance “even though he never needed it
while on active duty with the Navy. This eligibility, valid for 10 years,
allowed him to later gain employment at a [Defense Depart­ment]
contracting firm” at the Na­vy Yard, according to an outside review of
the shooting incident.

Hagel said DoD may reduce the number of secret-level security clearances
by at least 10 percent.
The military also will begin “con­tinuous evaluations” of people holding
security clearances, mean­ing background checks will be con­ducted
continually and randomly. Current policy calls for updating background
checks only when the security clearance is up for renew­al, typically
every 10 years.

“This will help trigger an alert if derogatory information becomes
available, for example if someone with a security clearance gets
ar­rested,” Hagel said. DoD also may start conducting its own background
checks instead of letting the civilian Office of Per­sonnel Management
handle those reviews, as it now does, he said.

Security clearances are critically important to many service mem­bers who
would be unable to per­form their day- to-day work without them.
Moreover, clearances are of­ten valid beyond military separa­tion, and
allow veterans to compete for lucrative jobs in the private sec­tor that
require clearances.
But the external review pointed to “a growing culture of
over-classi­fication,” and noted that since 2001, the number of
individual se­curity clearances approved each year by DoD has tripled.
The review recommended that background checks should exam­ine applicants’
social media ac­counts; such accounts currently are not considered in the
process.

Background checks also should have more complete access to
law­enforcement databases that in­clude arrest records. Today’s checks
often only screen for convic­tions, the report said. Background checks
also should include reviews of applicants’ fi­nancial status, the report
said.

Finally, DoD should consider changing its policy that does not disqualify
applicants for “omis­sion, concealment, or falsification of relevant
facts from the person­nel security questionnaire,” ac­cording to the
outside review.

The Sept. 16 shooting highlights DoD’s flawed approach to insider threat
prevention, said Paul Stock­ton, the former assistant secretary of
defense who helped lead the out­side review of the Navy Yard shoot­ing at
Hagel’s request last year.
“For decades, the department has approached security from a pe­rimeter
perspective — if we strengthen the perimeter, build our fences if you
will, against threats on the other side, we’ll be secure,” Stockton said
.
“That approach is outmoded. It’s broken, and the department needs to
replace it. Increasingly, threats — cyber, kinetic, all threats — they
are inside the perimeter. What the Department of Defense should do is
build security from within,” Stockton said.

Hagel announced plans to create a “Defense Department Insider Threat
Management and Analysis Center,” which will help track the policies and
procedures designed to prevent future incidents like the Navy Yard
shooting.


Show Cause Board…. Board of Inquiry (BOI) … Intent to Eliminate …. or Field Board of Inquiry (FBOI).

Show Cause Board…. Elimination Action …. Board of Inquiry (BOI) … Intent to Eliminate …. or Field Board of Inquiry (FBOI) — By whatever name, they all mean essentially one thing: your military career hangs in the balance. With the drawdown and budget cuts taking center stage, letters of Intent to Eliminate and Show Cause Boards (BOIs) are being issued and convened with increasing frequency. And whether the basis of the Show Cause is misconduct, substandard performance, a GOMOR in the AMHRR or a referred OER, you need expert help to navigate the difficult, confusing and emotionally charged weeks and months ahead.

If you’ve received notice of Intent to Eliminate from your GOSCA (General Officer Show Cause Authority), or from Human Resources Command (HRC) — please give my office a call at your earliest convenience. The sooner I engage, the better chance we’ll have to craft a winning defense and save your career.

Respectfully, Bill Meili: 214 363-1828 Dallas Office.

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Security Clearance Defense — Answering a Department of Defense (DoD), Consolidated Adjudications Facility LOI or SOR

PROTECTING AND DEFENDING SECURITY CLEARANCES

If you are in the military, a government contractor, or if you are a government civilian, your security clearance is, in all likelihood, a pre-requisite to your career.

Over the past twenty five years, I have represented military service members, government contractors and federal government employees who have had security clearance problems. Most people come to me when their existing security clearance has been suspended, or when they’ve received notifications in the form of a Letter of Intent (LOI), or Statement of Reasons (SOR) that they must show cause why their clearance should not be revoked permanently. In some cases, clients have had their eligibility for access to classified information or employment in sensitive duties suspended, and must defend against a permanent revocation of eligibility to hold a clearance. Regardless of the individual facts, the bottom line in security clearance work is this: If your security clearance is jeopardized in any way, your career is at risk. If you have received a Letter of Intent (LOI) to respond to a proposed suspension of eligibility or access, or if you are having problems anywhere in the process with a clearance suspension, revocation or issuance, please call my office as soon as possible for consultation and review.

Letters of Intent (LOI) and Statement of Reasons (SOR)
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, receiving an LOI or an SOR is actually the military or government’s way of saying, “Please help us.” Tasked with ensuring the integrity of the security clearance process, the relevant agencies will, from time to time, screen individual records and find potential disqualifying information during the course of that screen. When that happens, the agency will usually issue the individual a letter identifying the potential disqualifier. In addition, the letter will ask the individual to respond and “show cause” why the problem is either no longer a problem, or not serious enough to warrant disqualification, suspension and/or revocation. There is a proper and effective way to respond to LOIs and SORs. One of the keys is found in the appropriate regulations which underpin all security clearance work, and specifically in those sections dealing with extenuation and mitigation. The other essential factor is to uncover the real truth behind an individual’s current and past circumstances, and then to be able to tell that story succinctly, credibly and with sufficient proof to satisfy the agency’s adjudicators that the person in question poses no credible threat to national security.

Military Security Clearances
Military deployments almost always require that the service member have a valid security clearance. Without it, he or she will likely be deemed “non-deployable,” which could then carry further implications for possible involuntary separation, and a foreshortened military career. I have helped many service members over the years retain their clearances in a variety of situations. As a result, those individuals have been able to deploy and otherwise extend, grow and continue their careers.

DoD and other Federal Agency Security Clearances
As with security clearance work for those in uniform, defending Department of Defense (DoD), Consolidated Adjudications Facility (CAF) actions generally usually focuses on the following areas of potential disqualification:
• Finances or Financial Difficulties
• Foreign Preference and/or Foreign Influence
• Alcohol and/or Drug Abuse Allegations
• Alleged Criminal Misconduct Generally

While each case is different, it helps to keep in mind what the issuing agency is really concerned about. Regardless of the facts or allegations, the agency’s primary concern is one of trust: someone whose trustworthiness, reliability, judgment and/or loyalty are questioned, poses a risk for continued access to sensitive, classified information. What we do for clients facing a suspension, revocation or non-issuance of a security clearance is similar to what we do for clients whose professional licenses are in jeopardy. We do everything necessary to establish that the client is, in fact, trustworthy, reliable and sufficiently possessed of sound and discerning judgment. By so doing we can argue that the client poses no credible threat to national security, and that the reinstatement of eligibility or lifting of the preliminary suspension is clearly in the best interests of the U.S. Government. Once we reach that plateau, it is usually only a matter of time before the security clearance is issued, or the “flag” or suspension on the clearance is lifted.

Please call my office for comprehensive help and representation with your security clearance issue or problem.

Respectfully, Bill Meili Dallas Office: 214 363-1828


Correcting the Record and Righting a Wrong

My job affords me the opportunity — from time to time — to level the playing field on behalf of folks who have suffered injustice. One such person came to me a couple years ago. Military officer. Combat leader, Infantry, in both Iraq and Afghanistan — superb record on both deployments.

He came back home, and ran into a couple of superiors in garrison who just flat didn’t like him, and apparently didn’t think he belonged in their “club.” Less than a year later, they placed an efficiency report in his official file which effectively ended his active duty career. Poof —ten-twelve years of brilliant service and sacrifice over.

My client did, however, have a number of fellow officers, both commissioned and non-commissioned who — at some peril to their own careers — were willing to stand up and be counted. By leveraging their accounts, together with my clients observations and hard work, we were able to tell an accurate story of this man’s entire career to proper military authority. Recently — and to our complete surprise I might add — we learned that the Army granted full relief, restoring our client’s position, standing and honor in the process. His own reflection about what this decision means to him is pasted below.

Whatever our positions, jobs, or life experiences are generally, I think all of us, at one time or another, have faced injustice or an unfairness which threatens our stability, peace of mind or career. It was really nice to see a government agency, which historically has had the reputation of being “deaf” to such claims, hit one clear out of the park. Kind of restores your faith in the right stuff! For those of you who know somebody currently going through the wringer facing injustice or, as we sometimes refer to it, “stuff that just ain’t right,” you might want to share this man’s story with them. Good, in this instance, triumphed over its opposite. And for that, I’m grateful for and humbled by the Army Board’s decision. My client’s thoughts follow:
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“Dear Bill,

I sincerely wish to thank you for providing me the counsel, guidance, and extreme honesty even when there were times I didn’t wish to hear it… However, there is something to be said of how you were able to listen to my case and ultimately wholeheartedly believe in me.

I love serving in in the United States Army. I love representing my country and leading Soldiers. But thank God for Counselors as yourself who decide to honor your clients by taking on their battles to ensure fairness and equity prevails in all matters. The work that you have performed went above the call of duty in my eyes. You have helped me restore my Family name.

I am humbled by my case. There are no words of mine that can bestow my highest gratitude or praise. However, I am extremely proud to know there are true Hero’s like yourself to ensure both sides of the story are explained to the exquisite details as you have done for me. Bill, you helped me persevere when I said “the task is too great… the accusations are unfair and unjust… and this US Army Ranger has climbed all the mountains in Afghanistan and went through all the alley ways in Iraq… this feat is just too grand”. However, you reminded me to persevere and to be strong as I have in the past… Prove them wrong while you demonstrate the highest military professionalism every day you wear the uniform.

I will always treasure your words of wisdom. As there was a time, I was at a loss of what to do. This was a true test for me and I am a much better person through this all due to your guidance. I am very pleased to call you my Friend.”

May God always bless you.

Very Respectfully,

DT
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If you’re facing an uphill battle in your career, and need help … please don’t hesitate to call or drop a line.

v/r Bill Meili
Office: 214 363-1828 Cell: 214 536-3888; email: info@meililaw.com


Futures Preserved

A Success Story Worth Sharing

So …. I picked up phone messages the other day and recognized a name. A note attached to the call slip said it was a former client. After some digging, it turns out I handled a couple of cases for him almost twenty years ago — which, coincidently, was about the time I hung out my shingle. 

Well, I called my former client yesterday and we had a great chat. He simply wanted to let me know how much he appreciated what we were able to do for him when he was a mixed up 20 year old without a plan. Turns out his robbery and theft charges eventually went away on what we call a deffered adjudication, and he was able to turn things around after that. Now 40, he recently graduated with a four year undergraduate degree in a highly specialized discipline, and is actively pursuing a career with top tier firms. 

He asked me if I ever hear back from folks who share “success” stories. “Every now and then,” I said, “but from two decades ago – not so much!” I didn’t remember the details or facts of the case, and though I remembered his name, I’d be lyin’ if I told you I could pick him out of a lineup. But his memory on things is pretty vivid. As a friend recently told me: “People will forget what you said; and they’ll forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” 

That phone call made me feel pretty darn good, and I’m grateful to my former client for taking the time to re-connect. 

If you have a military or criminal law situation which needs straightening out, give us a shout.  We’re at your service.

Bill Meili   214 363-1828 Office; 214 536-3888 Cell

 


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