A New York dentist who wanted to spend the final years of his career giving back to those who serve in the military won’t be able to do so unless he successfully appeals his recent security clearance denial.
In September, the Office of Personnel Management issued a Statement of Reasons to Dr. Gershon Pincus, 62, denying his security clearance application due to “divided loyalties,” according to an article in The Wall Street Journal.
The reason for denial falls under Guideline B: Foreign Influence of the Adjudicative Guidelines for Determining Eligibility for Access to Classified Information. Part of the guideline states:
“Foreign contacts and interests may be a security concern if the individual has divided loyalties or foreign financial interests, may be manipulated or induced to help a foreign person, group, organization, or government in a way that is not in U.S. interests, or is vulnerable to pressure or coercion by any foreign interest.”
Pincus’s mother and two siblings live in Israel. His son served in the Israeli army before dying of a drug overdose, the New York Daily News reports.
The Statement of Reasons listed weekly calls to his mother and brother and three trips to Israel since 2007 among the reasons for the denial.
Pincus began working as a civilian dentist at an off-base Navy clinic in Saratoga Springs in the summer of 2014. His position requires security clearance, so Pincus is appealing the decision.
“Although we’re not representing Dr. Pincus, this is the type of case that we routinely take on,” says Catie Young, an attorney who specializes in security clearance law.
Applicants who are issued a Statement of Reasons have a limited time in which to file an appeal.
“We tell clients not to assume that it’s the end of the road if their security clearance initially is denied,” Young says. “There are lots of options and lots of mitigating circumstances.”
We do advise that you consult an attorney who specializes in this area of law if you’ve been issued a Statement of Reasons. Such a specialist will help you prepare your response and guide you through the process of meeting with the administrative judge.
Please call our office for a consultation if you’ve been issued a Statement of Reasons, or if you’re applying for security clearance and want to ensure you complete the paperwork accurately. We are here to help you protect your li