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PSH-13-0033 - In the Matter of Personnel Security

On July 31, 2013, an OHA Hearing Officer issued a decision in which he concluded that a security clearance should not be granted to an individual.  The individual disclosed during his background investigation that in 2005-06 he had been charged for battery as a result of a dispute with a neighbor, domestic violence as a result of an altercation with his then-wife, and driving under the influence of alcohol. Beginning in 2007, the individual had separately attended court-mandated domestic violence counseling and alcohol treatment programs. Following the abstinence required by his court-mandated treatment, the individual has consumed alcohol on an occasional basis. The individual was evaluated by a DOE consulting psychologist in October 2012 who diagnoses the individual as meeting the criteria set forth in the DSM-IV-TR for Alcohol Abuse and noted that the individual had become intoxicated on at least one (and possibly on two) occasions in the 12 months prior to the psychological evaluation. The DOE psychologist opined that the individual would need to completely abstain from alcohol for two years and attend counseling for stress accompanying personal relationships in order to demonstrate adequate rehabilitation or reformation of his alcohol issues. The LSO denied the individual access authorization citing Criteria H, J and L. As of the date of the hearing, the individual had no period of abstinence subsequent to the psychological evaluation and had consumed alcohol at a business function the prior month. At the hearing the DOE psychologist affirmed her diagnosis (with a reduced period of abstinence to evidence rehabilitation or reformation). With respect to the pattern of criminal activity alleged by the LSO, the Hearing Officer noted that four incidents were directly or indirectly alcohol related and, notwithstanding the individual’s counseling with respect to domestic violence and alcohol issues, those concerns could not be mitigated absent mitigation of the alcohol concerns. With respect to two automobile related citations, the Hearing Officer found those were isolated, minor events which the individual had mitigated at the hearing. 

Wade Boswell - Hearing Officer