Personnel Security Hearing (PSH)

Access Authorization Not Restored;   Guideline   H   (Alcohol   Consumption) and Bond Amendment

On November 9, 2021, an Administrative Judge (AJ) determined that the Individual's access authorization under 10 C.F.R. Part 710 should not be restored. The Individual provided a urine   sample   which   tested   positive   for   amphetamines   and   methamphetamines.                                                                            The Individual denied having ever used either substance and attributed the positive test results to his use of an over-the-counter (OTC) decongestant. The Individual submitted evidence that he had been drug tested on at least 41 occasions since 2006 and lab reports indicating that 13 of those tests were negative. The Individual also submitted an assessment of the Individual conducted by a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (the Counselor), who noted that certain OTC medications could cause a positive test result for methamphetamine.

The AJ found that the Individual's testimony appeared sincere and noted that he had a long history of negative random drug tests. However, the AJ found that the objective evidence in the record, i.e., the confirmatory test certified on February 10, 2021, indicated that the Individual had used amphetamines and methamphetamines. The AJ further concluded that

while the Individual had submitted a letter form the Counselor in which she opined that the Individual's use of an OTC medication could have resulted in a false positive test for methamphetamines on the confirmatory test (unless enantiomer analysis was used) it was important to note that she did not similarly opine that the use of an OTC medication could result in a false positive test for amphetamines on the confirmatory test. Therefore the AJ found that since the Individual had not presented any evidence that his use of an OTC medication could have resulted in a false positive test for amphetamines on the confirmatory test, the February 10, 2021, positive confirmation constituted highly probative evidence that the Individual had used amphetamines and nothing in the record cast had doubt on the accuracy of that test. Therefore, the AJ found, the evidence in the record indicated that the Individual used amphetamines and possibly methamphetamines and failed to provide accurate information concerning his amphetamine and methamphetamine use during this proceeding.

The Administrative Judge therefore concluded that the Individual's access authorization should not be restored. OHA Case No. PSH-21-0114 (Steven L. Fine, 202-287-1490).

Personnel Security; Access Authorization Granted; Guideline I (Psychological Conditions)

On November 12, 2021, an Administrative Judge (AJ) determined that an Individual should be granted access authorization under 10 C.F.R. Part 710. The Individual is a prospective employee of a DOE contractor for a position that requires the possession of a security clearance. As part of the application for access authorization, the Individual completed a Questionnaire for National Security Positions form. Therein, the Individual indicated that she had a mental health condition that substantially adversely affected her judgment, reliability, or trustworthiness. The Individual was evaluated by a DOE-consultant psychologist (“Psychologist”). Subsequently, the LSO informed the Individual that it possessed reliable information that created substantial doubt regarding her eligibility to possess a security clearance because the Psychologist concluded that the Individual has a mental condition resulting from seizures that affects her judgment and emotional stability, and, during seizures, she loses control over what she says for several hours.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the AJ determined that the DOE appropriately invoked Guideline I and that the Individual resolved the security concerns for the following reasons. First, the AJ found that the evidence demonstrated that her condition is readily controllable with treatment and she had been consistently compliant with her treatment plan because the Individual had not had a seizure in more than three years, the severity of the seizures had decreased, she had used prescription medication and emergency hospitalization to successfully prevent or mitigate seizures, and the Psychologist opined there was a low probably of the Individual’s judgement being impaired by her condition.

Second, the AJ found persuasive the Psychologist’s opinion that it is unlikely that the Individual will have significant seizures in the future and that her seizures have a low risk of impairing her judgment. Accordingly, the AJ found that the Psychologist’s conclusion, coupled with the above findings, demonstrated that the Individual’s condition is readily controllable with treatment and has a low probably of recurrence or exacerbation. The AJ therefore found that the Individual had resolved the Guideline I security concerns.(Case No. PSH-21-0083, James P. Thompson III)