You are here

PSH-13-0113 - In the Matter of Personnel Security

On January 31, 2014, an OHA Administrative Judge issued a decision in which he concluded that an individual’s security clearance should not be restored.  A Local Security Office began an investigation of an individual’s eligibility for access authorization after the individual failed a field sobriety test (BAC of .10 to .11) following a minor automobile accident and was subsequently arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. The DOE consulting psychologist evaluated the individual and concluded that she (a) was a user of alcohol habitually to excess without adequate evidence of reformation or rehabilitation and (b) met the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for Alcohol Use Disorder – Mild which causes a significant defect in her judgment and reliability. The LSO suspended the individual’s access authorization citing Criteria H and J. The individual acknowledges that she has consumed alcohol daily since 1986 and has consumed 20 ounces of wine daily for at least 15 years. Her own forensic psychologist acknowledged while testifying that her consumption was in “excess” and problematic for her future health; less than a month prior to the hearing, she consulted an addiction medicine specialist whose written report includes his clinical impression that she meets the DSM-IV-TR criteria for Alcohol Dependence; and she commenced an intensive alcohol treatment program one week prior to the hearing and relapsed on the fourth day. As of the date of the hearing the individual had been abstinent from alcohol for a mere four days. Under these circumstances, the Administrative Judge found that the conclusions of the DOE consulting psychologist were reasonable and supported by the record and that the individual had not mitigated the security concerns arising under Criteria H or J. 

Wade Boswell - Hearing Officer