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PSH-13-0127 - In the Matter of Personnel Security

On March 31, 2014, an Administrative Judge issued a decision in which he concluded that an individual’s authorization access should be granted.  During his application for access authorization and the subsequent investigation, the individual disclosed that he twice attempted suicide in 2011 during a period in which his marriage was dissolving; both suicide attempts were preceded by consumption of alcohol. A DOE consulting psychiatrist evaluated the individual and concluded that in late 2011 the individual had suffered from Alcohol Abuse, which at the time of the evaluation was in full sustained remission. However, the psychiatrist also opined that the individual was continuing to consume alcohol habitually to excess, without adequate evidence of rehabilitation or reformation. The psychiatrist recommended six months of abstinence, combined with an outpatient treatment program and participation in self-help meetings. The individual, who had not been intoxicated since June 2013, began to abstain from alcohol on November 9, 2013, completed an alcohol treatment and education program through his facility’s employee assistance program and, as of the date of the hearing, had participated in Alcoholics Anonymous for three months. He stated that he did not intend to consume alcohol in the future. At the hearing, the DOE psychiatrist additionally noted the viable support network established by the individual, the ease with which he had established and maintained his abstinence and the insights from AA incorporated in the individual’s testimony. The DOE psychiatrist testified that he believed that the individual had demonstrated adequate rehabilitation and reformation with respect to his excess use of alcohol (his Alcohol Abuse already being in full sustained remission) and no longer had an illness or mental condition that could cause a significant defect in his reliability or judgment. In light of the foregoing, the Administrative Judge found that the individual had mitigated the security concerns arising from his prior alcohol use and that his security clearance should be granted.

Wade M. Boswell - Administrative Judge