What a ride it’s been this year. Grateful for the opportunity to help many facing adversity and rough patches of varying degree and scope.
Had the distinct pleasure to work with some remarkable people this past month. Looking forward to favorable decisions in two of those cases, and, equally, to a new challenge next month on a third. Warmest wishes to all for a safe, sane and easy Fourth of July holiday weekend! Bill
Many times, getting an early jump on potential security clearance disqualifiers and issues broadly can have a profound effect on the course of a case. This week, I was happy to learn that a former client who did just that — coming in early for a comprehensive consultation — has kept his top secret clearance and is looking forward to an SCI grant later this year. His description and experience in seeking and obtaining professional counsel with our firm follows:
INDUSTRIAL SECURITY CLEARANCE DEFENSE TESTIMONY
Industrial Security Clearance Defense Testimony
I’m an independent contractor consultant with clients in the Department of Defense, as well as the Intelligence Community. I have a TS clearance, and was mid-process for my SCI when I had a DUI. It was a first-time offense, and the charges were ultimately dismissed and my record expunged, but, needless to say, I was extremely concerned about the potential impact to my security clearances.
Bill came highly recommended by a close, mutual friend who is also a retired U.S. Army Colonel.
I called Bill, left a message, and he immediately returned my call. I explained my situation, and Bill took the time to understand all the details and intricacies of my situation, including the details of the DUI arrest, and the legal strategy I was pursuing with my DUI attorney.
Most of all, Bill put my mind at ease by explaining how he could help me rise above this single, unfortunate incident, and present a “whole person” view of myself that would make it clear that I’m a person of high-integrity, who is deserving of the highest-level security clearance.
I met with Bill in-person at his office, and we had numerous telephonic meetings as well. He assisted me with the completion of the SF-86 form, coached me on answering questions that might be posed by the background investigator, as well as giving me indispensable advice on my upcoming polygraph.
Bill stands apart from other attorneys in several important ways. First, it was immediately obvious that his concern for his clients is sincere, and that he deeply cared about me as an individual. Second, his style is that of a mentor and coach; he always helped me to “see the big picture,” and helped me develop the tools and approach to win the end-game. And finally, I consider him a friend, and while I hope to never have a brush with the legal system again, I look forward to remaining in touch with him going forward.
An update on my current clearance status: My TS is active, and at no risk. I passed my polygraph and my SCI is in-process. As a contractor who primarily works remotely, I am rather low on the adjudication priority list relative to a government employee who works in a secure facility every day, but I am confident that my SCI will be granted.
To sum up: Engaging early with Bill made all the difference for me. I highly recommend William Meili & Associates, without reservation, for anyone who has serious issues – or even just questions or concerns – about their current or pending security clearance.
— Client wishes to remain anonymous
This favorable Industrial Security Clearance decision came down last week. Good result for an outstanding man, and it truly was a gratifying day when we heard the news. Long in coming, but sweet nonetheless. I’ll let my client tell you about it in his own words…..
SUCCESSFUL INDUSTRIAL SECURITY CLEARANCE HEARING FOR KEY EMPLOYEE WITH MAJOR DEFENSE CONTRACTOR
I wouldn’t wish my circumstances on anyone, but if you ever do need a lawyer for security clearance issues, I would highly recommend Bill Meili. These issues are not to be taken lightly. The government will have a lawyer representing them.… Why not have a proven lawyer like Bill Meili and his team in your corner?
I am a former Air Force officer who works for a major defense contractor, and I’ve held a security clearance for over 22 years. But that didn’t stop me from doing something really stupid in November 2013. As a result, during my reinvestigation, I received a Statement of Reasons (SOR) informing me that my top secret clearance was in jeopardy of being revoked. Before I got in touch with Bill, I had contacted one other attorney, but his demeanor was not to my liking. I found Bill through a search on Google, and phoned him. He returned my call almost immediately, and within a couple of days I was in his office discussing my options.
Bill was very thorough in preparing the response to my SOR (Statement of Reasons). He laid out a very detailed description of the items he needed from me, and he guided me through the complex process. Bill has extensive experience as a former US Army JAG, and it shows. Based on his legal experience, we elected to have my case heard before an Administrative Judge (AJ) in person. I was very impressed with the response package that Bill and his office put together.
Bill battled for my best interests at the trial and with all follow-ups, post hearing. He never let up. I am pleased (and relieved) to say that I got a favorable ruling, and my clearance was granted.
I’ve had the occasion to need a lawyer’s assistance in the past, but I can say without any hesitation that Bill is hands-down the best lawyer with whom I’ve had personal experience. I can’t say enough good things about him as a professional, and as a person.
Thank you Scott. It was an honor and a privilege. Bill
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
DoD revamps security clearance policies
Changes based on probes into Navy Yard shooting
By Andrew Tilghman email@example.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
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
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
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
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
Security Clearance Defense — Answering a Department of Defense (DoD), Consolidated Adjudications Facility LOI or SORPosted: March 31, 2014
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