On June 5, 2014, an OHA Administrative Judge issued a decision in which she concluded that an individual’s security clearance should be restored. In January 2014, as part of a background investigation, the local security office (LSO) conducted a Personnel Security Interview (PSI) of the individual to address concerns about her failure to file federal income tax returns for tax years 2011 and 2012. The individual’s behavior raised security concerns under Criterion L. After conducting a hearing and evaluating the documentary and testimonial evidence, the Administrative Judge found that the individual’s significant job stressors, the sickness and subsequent passing of her mother-in-law and complications related to three failed family businesses all contributed to the individual’s failure to file her federal tax returns. During the hearing, the individual demonstrated that she has now filed her federal income tax returns for the 2011 and 2012 tax years, thereby fulfilling her obligation to file tax returns for those years. The individual also submitted evidence that she filed her 2013 federal income tax return, and testified credibly that she now completely understands her obligation to file federal income tax returns in a timely fashion and will do so in the future. The Administrative Judge was convinced that the individual’s conduct at issue happened under unique circumstances and is unlikely to recur. In the end, she found that the individual’s failure to file her federal income tax returns stemmed from the overwhelming stressors in her life, not a willful disregard of the law. Accordingly, the Administrative Judge concluded that the individual has adequately mitigated the Criterion L security concerns at issue.
Kimberly Jenkins-Chapman - Administrative Judge