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Summary of Decisions - July 1, 2013 - July 5, 2013

July 5, 2013 - 9:00am

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Personnel Security Hearing (10 CFR Part 710)

On July 1, 2013, an OHA Hearing Officer issued a decision in which she concluded that an individual’s security clearance should not be restored.  In February and April 2012, as part of a background investigation, the Local Security Office (LSO) conducted Personnel Security Interviews (PSIs) of the individual to address concerns about his alcohol use, drug use and falsifications.  In addition to the PSIs, the LSO recommended a psychiatric evaluation of the individual by a DOE consultant psychiatrist (DOE psychiatrist).  The DOE psychiatrist examined the individual in May 2012 and determined that he suffers from Alcohol Dependence.  The DOE psychiatrist also reported that the individual had been previously diagnosed with Bipolar II and ADHD.  After conducting a hearing and evaluating the documentary and testimonial evidence, the Hearing Officer found that the individual had successfully addressed the DOE’s security concerns with respect to his diagnoses of Bipolar II, ADHD and Alcohol Dependence as well as his alcohol use.  Likewise, the Hearing Officer found that the individual successfully mitigated the security concerns related to his improper usage of illegal substances, including marijuana and K2 (synthetic cannabis) as well as over-the-counter medications.  However, the Hearing Officer found that very serious concerns related to a number of intentional misrepresentations by the individual had not been resolved.  Accordingly, the Hearing Officer concluded that the individual’s security clearance should not be restored.  OHA Case No. PSH-13-0004 (Kimberly Jenkins-Chapman, H.O.)

On July 3, 2013, a Hearing Officer issued a decision in which he determined that an individual’s access authorization should be restored. In reaching this determination, the Hearing Officer found that the individual had resolved security concerns regarding financial irresponsibility associated with three unpaid credit accounts that had gone into collection. The accounts arose from the individual’s purchase of a small house in 2004 when she was 21 years old. The individual presented evidence that for the past eight years she had lived a financially responsible life style despite a limited income and had attempted to establish a payment plan for the debts without success. Further, she recently attended a six-week financial management class. The individual’s financial counselor from the class testified as to the individual’s financial management skills and that the individual had recently established payment plans for two of the three accounts in collection.  With regard to the remaining account, the debt holder, at the time of the hearing, had still refused to agree to a payment plan or settlement. A friend of the individual and her former supervisor also testified as to the individual’s financial responsibility during the period 2006 through the date of the hearing. Based upon the evidence described above, the Hearing Officer found that the individual’s security clearance should be restored.  OHA Case No. PSH-13-0048 (Richard Cronin, H.O.)

On July 1, 2013, an OHA Hearing Officer issued a decision in which he determined that an individual’s DOE security clearance should not be restored.  The individual had exhibited a pattern of failing to appropriately manage his financial affairs evidenced by his failure to pay his state and local taxes on time or to file his state and local tax returns for a number of years.  The individual also collected sales and occupancy taxes from his customers at two motels he owns.  Instead of remitting these funds to the state and local governments as he was required to do, the individual chose to lessen his losses on those properties by diverting those tax receipts and using them to pay other expenses of those businesses, allowing him to continue to invest in new property.  When he was questioned about this behavior during a personnel security interview and at the hearing, the individual asserted that his actions were appropriate.   For these reasons, the Hearing Officer concluded that the individual had not mitigated the security concerns.  OHA Case No. PSH-13-0029 (Steven L. Fine, H.O.)

On July 3, 2013, an OHA Hearing Officer issued a decision in which she determined that an individual’s access authorization should not be restored.  In reaching this determination, the Hearing Officer found that the individual had not resolved the security concerns raised by the Local Security Office (LSO) arising from his six alcohol-related arrests, multiple traffic citations, and false statement during a Personnel Security Interview (PSI).  The most recent alcohol-related arrest was for Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (ADWI), which occurred in October 2012.  At the hearing and during his PSI, the individual denied having consumed alcohol prior to the arrest, yet he refused to take a breathalyzer at that time and pleaded guilty to the charge.  The Hearing Officer found that, based on the evidence presented to her including the guilty plea and refusal to take the breathalyzer, she could not find that the individual had mitigated the security concern.  Further, the Hearing Officer found that in addition to his ADWI arrest, the individual’s five other alcohol-related arrests and thirty-one traffic citations showed a pattern of criminal conduct.  Although the individual has a good employment record, the Hearing Officer could not find that there was successful rehabilitation based upon the passage of time due to the recurrence of criminal activity.  OHA Case No. PSH-13-0039 (Janet R. H. Fishman, H.O.)

 

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