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PSH-13-0130 - In the Matter of Personnel Security

On March 20, 2014, an OHA Administrative Judge (AJ) issued a Decision in which she concluded that the DOE should not restore an individual’s suspended DOE access authorization.  A DOE Operations Office referred the individual to administrative review under 10 C.F.R. Part 710, citing issues pertaining to the individual’s use of alcohol, including the individual’s two past arrests for Driving Under the Influence, as well as his diagnoses of alcohol-related conditions dependence by a DOE consultant-psychologist.  The individual requested a hearing before an OHA AJ.  Following the hearing, the AJ determined that the individual had not presented sufficient evidence to fully resolve the security concerns.  The AJ found that the individual had made substantial progress in treating his alcohol problem, including acknowledging his condition, participating in biweekly counseling sessions, and becoming an active participant in Alcoholics Anonymous – attending several meetings per week, working closely with a sponsor, and performing service work to the organization.  In addition, the individual, having committed to abstinence from alcohol, demonstrated over eight months of abstinence from alcohol and intended to maintain his abstinence indefinitely.  Nevertheless, the AJ was persuaded by the DOE psychologist’s testimony that, despite the individual’s eight months of abstinence and treatment, several areas of concern remain unresolved.  Consequently, the AJ was persuaded by the DOE psychologist’s testimony that it was too early in the individual’s recovery to conclude that he was adequately rehabilitated from his condition.  Therefore, the AJ determined that the individual had not yet mitigated the security concerns and, as a result, the DOE should not restore his suspended security clearance at this time.

Diane DeMoura - Administrative Judge