Effect of Family on Background Investigation?

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Effect of Family on Background Investigation?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:26 pm

I'm currently a 1L interested in working at DOJ or a major law enforcement agency after graduation. I know there is a pretty extensive background investigation process for these jobs, and I am concerned about passing the background investigation not because of anything I did but because of what some family members have done. Someone that I am closely related to (and whom I would have to list on a form like SF-86) was the leader of a major drug dealing ring which operated in two countries. Other family members have also been into drugs (but the others were just users, not dealers). Will this in any way affect me? I myself have never ever done drugs, not even marijuana.

Also, do family members usually get contacted during the background investigation? Who gets contacted? Only the people we are asked to list on the application? Or is it possible for other family members to be contacted, such as uncles, aunts, cousins? There are some members of my family whom I would not want any prospective employers to contact (to the point where I would not apply for these jobs, even though I really want them).

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Re: Effect of Family on Background Investigation?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm currently a 1L interested in working at DOJ or a major law enforcement agency after graduation. I know there is a pretty extensive background investigation process for these jobs, and I am concerned about passing the background investigation not because of anything I did but because of what some family members have done. Someone that I am closely related to (and whom I would have to list on a form like SF-86) was the leader of a major drug dealing ring which operated in two countries. Other family members have also been into drugs (but the others were just users, not dealers). Will this in any way affect me? I myself have never ever done drugs, not even marijuana.

Also, do family members usually get contacted during the background investigation? Who gets contacted? Only the people we are asked to list on the application? Or is it possible for other family members to be contacted, such as uncles, aunts, cousins? There are some members of my family whom I would not want any prospective employers to contact (to the point where I would not apply for these jobs, even though I really want them).


This is relative to my interests.

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Re: Effect of Family on Background Investigation?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:39 pm

I can't speak to all of this. Just so you know my background, I had various security clearances both as a civilian in the federal government and as an intelligence officer in the military. The first thing you should know is that the people conducting this background investigation are not the people you interviewed with for the job and they are not the people you will be working with this summer. They are full time background investigation people. Which means, they've seen it all.

I am in the midst of the same DOJ background check right now (you would think my others would carry through but that would smack of government efficiency) so I can't speak directly to who gets contacted.

What I will say is that you should be up front and honest about all of it. I really don't think the situation you describe would cause you to fail the process. I had a former employer get convicted of a felony and sent to jail. I listed that on my paperwork and never heard anything about it. This is a closer relationship of course and there are plenty of other details that could make what you said sound not so bad or a lot worse but I still think you're probably ok. I would call the person who is coordinating the security process and ask or just disclose everything and hope for the best.

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PARTY
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Re: Effect of Family on Background Investigation?

Postby PARTY » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:40 pm

you know what they say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

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Re: Effect of Family on Background Investigation?

Postby CyLaw » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:42 pm

I would review the Adjudicative Guidelines for more information and guidance. Don't forget to also review the mitigating factors. A lot of DOJ positions require a Top Secret clearance, which means you will have to undergo a SSBI and that will include contacting and interviewing your family members. If you go through that process, the best advice is to disclose what is asked of you on the SF86 and contact your security officer for any lingering doubts. Most issues can be cleared up with your security investigator when you have your initial interview with them.

It is not your family's conduct that you have to worry about, but their influence on you, especially any possible foreign influence.

ETA: They will always contact more people then you list on the form. Background investigators are REQUIRED to develop additional leads and to investigate and interview those additional contacts. Wether that is more family members or more friends depends on the investigator and where the investigation takes them.

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Re: Effect of Family on Background Investigation?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:39 pm

OP here. Thanks for the info, especially to CyLaw for the Adjudicative Guidelines link.

Does anyone have info on which family members are contacted, or if is possible to request that certain people are not contacted? I'm not trying to hide anything. It's just that I was sexually assaulted by a family member (and I reported him to the police and he was prosecuted). I would not want this person to be contacted because I don't want him to know my whereabouts or that I am applying for a job with X agency.

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Re: Effect of Family on Background Investigation?

Postby CyLaw » Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:45 pm

That sounds like a very special case that you may wish to discuss with the investigator. Spouse is a definite. Parents are a maybe. Past that, it depends on if any investigative leads go in that direction. There are some previous security officers on here that may chime in later with some better information, but I believe that it is highly unlikely that a family member you have no contact with will be contacted by an investigator. It might happen, but I find it very unlikely.

Note that the investigator should tell NO ONE why you are being investigate or any information on your current whereabouts. The most they should be told is that you are being looked into for a federal position.

ETA: You may have to and should discuss this with your investigator and security officer when it comes up.

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Re: Effect of Family on Background Investigation?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:17 pm

CyLaw wrote:That sounds like a very special case that you may wish to discuss with the investigator. Spouse is a definite. Parents are a maybe. Past that, it depends on if any investigative leads go in that direction. There are some previous security officers on here that may chime in later with some better information, but I believe that it is highly unlikely that a family member you have no contact with will be contacted by an investigator. It might happen, but I find it very unlikely.

Note that the investigator should tell NO ONE why you are being investigate or any information on your current whereabouts. The most they should be told is that you are being looked into for a federal position.

ETA: You may have to and should discuss this with your investigator and security officer when it comes up.


Thanks, CyLaw. Even though the person who assaulted me won't be told my whereabouts, I still would not want him contacted, for other obvious reasons. I will explain the situation at my background interview next month and see what my BI says.

There are also other family members whom I don't have contact with either because they are criminals (like the drug dealer) or otherwise bad people. I'm assuming I will still have to list these people on the form. At my background interview, should I just tell my BI that I don't have contact with these people? Will it look suspicious that I don't have contact with a significant proportion of my family? I can see how it could.




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