Personnel Security Hearing (PSH)
Access Authorization Granted; Guideline I (Psychological Conditions)
On November 30, 2022, an Administrative Judge (AJ) determined that the Individual's access authorization under 10 C.F.R. Part 710 should be granted. The Individual self-reported that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder II. After reviewing an evaluation of the Individual performed by a DOE-contracted psychologist, concerns were raised that the Individual's mental health condition might interfere with his judgment, trustworthiness, or reliability.
At the hearing, the Individual presented credible evidence that he had actively pursued treatment for his diagnosis for several years and had followed the treatment plans created by his medical providers . He also presented evidence that his mood was stable and that he had the coping skills and support he needed to effectively manage the mild symptoms he experienced from time to time. The DOE - contracted psychologist opined that the Individual's condition was in full remission and no longer raised doubts for her regarding his judgment, reliability, and trustworthiness. The Administrative Judge found sufficient evidence that the Individual had mitigated the Guideline I security concern and, therefore, concluded that the Individual's access authorization should be granted. (OHA Case No . PSH-22-0122, Martin)
Access Authorization not Restored; Guidelines J (Criminal Conduct)
On November 30, 2022, an Administrative Judge determined that the Individual's access authorization should not be restored under 10 C.F.R. Part 710. The Individual is employed by a DOE contractor in a position that requires him to hold a security clearance. The Local Security Office (LSO) received derogatory information regarding the Individual's criminal conduct. Regarding Guideline J, the LSO cited his extensive criminal conduct, including a 2020 charge of criminal sexual penetration. The LSO also cited his approximately 41 other criminal charges. At the hearing, the Individual's fianc ée testified that the young relative who accused the Individual of the 2020 criminal sexual penetration is known to lie and had a suspension from school for lying about a male school employee. She also stated that she was in the home when the alleged behavior occurred and within view of where the Individual was accused of the criminal conduct. Further, the Individual provided other evidence including that there was no male DNA evidence on her underwear. Unfortunately, the Individual has a substantial pattern of criminal behavior. Although most of the numerous criminal charges he faced prior to 2018 were traffic violations, the Individual has faced two accusations of criminal sexual penetration, one of which was recent. Although the Individual presented evidence that the young relative may have concocted the claim, he has not be cleared of the charges at this time. The Administrative Judge found that he has not mitigated the concerns raised by his extensive criminal record. Accordingly, the Individual was not able to demonstrate that he had resolved the security concerns arising under Guideline J. (OHA Case No. PSH-22-0120, Fishman)
Access Authorization Restored; Guideline H (Drug Involvement) and Bond Amendment
On November 30, 2022, an Administrative Judge determined that the Individual's access authorization should be restored under 10 C.F.R. Part 710. The Individual is employed by a DOE contractor in a position that required her told a security clearance. The Local Security Office (LSO) received potentially derogatory information concerning the Individual's drug involvement. The LSO alleged that in March 2022, the Individual took one Oxycodone pill, a Schedule II controlled substance, that was prescribed to her child.
At the hearing, the Individual, her husband, and her friend testified. The Individual indicated in her testimony that on the day of the incident, she felt severe hip and back pain that caused her to become immobile. Her child, who had a prescription for Oxycodone, offered her a pill, which the Individual ingested. The Individual indicated in her testimony that she was not aware this was a concern under the Adjudicative Guidelines and only learned it was when her supervisor notified her of this fact after the Individual disclosed the incident to her in casual conversation. The Individual properly reported the event.
At the hearing, the Individual indicated that she had never used another person's prescription either before or since the March 2022 incident. Her husband and friend also stated in their testimony that they were not aware of the Individual having ever taken prescription medication that was not hers outside of the March 2022 incident. The Individual submitted five drug tests from July 2013 through October 2022, all of which were negative for opiates. The record indicated that the Individual had never sought treatment for drug use, she was never asked to seek treatment for drug use, and that she had no intention of taking medication that was not hers at any point in the future. The Individual stated that she will, in the future, employ appropriate methods of pain relief, as she has done before. The Individual also indicated that she never sought medical treatment for this pain, as it occurs only once or twice a year.
Based on the information provided, the Administrative Judge could not conclude that the Individual was either an unlawful user of a controlled substance or an addict under the Bond Amendment. The record did not establish that the Individual had "lost the power of self control" or that she was a " current user," as contemplated by the Bond Amendment. Further, neither the LSO alleged nor did the record indicate that the Individual "habitually uses any narcotic so as to endanger the public morals, health, safety, or welfare." For these reasons, the Administrative Judge found that the Bond Amendment did not act as a bar to restoring the Individual's access authorization.
Regarding Guideline H, the record indicated that the Individual took prescription medication that was not hers on one occasion and that the Individual's misunderstanding of the concerns surrounding such behavior had been resolved. Accordingly, the Administrative Judge found that the incident was so infrequent and happened under such circumstances that it is unlikely to recur and does not cast doubt on the Individual's current reliability, trustworthiness, or good judgement. (OHA Case No. PSH- 22-0135, Rahimzadeh)
Access Authorization Granted; Guideline G (Alcohol Consumption), Guideline J (Criminal Conduct)
On December 1, 2022, an Administrative Judge determined that the Individual's access authorization should be granted under 10 C.F.R. Part 710. The Individual is employed by a DOE contractor in a position that requires him to hold a security clearance. On July 20, 2021, the Individual self-reported that he was arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI) on July 18, 2021. Subsequently, the Individual completed a Letter of Interrogatory and underwent an evaluation by a DOE consultant Psychologist. In his report, the Psychologist diagnosed the Individual with Alcohol Use Disorder, moderate in early remission. He concluded that, at the time of the evaluation, the Individual had not demonstrated adequate evidence of rehabilitation. In order to show rehabilitation, the Psychologist recommended that the Individual (1) present evidence (such as PEth tests) that he has abstained from alcohol for an additional six months; (2) form a relationship with a psychodynamically-oriented therapist; and (3) continue to attend AA at least three times a week.
At the hearing, the Individual, two of his supervisors, and the DOE Psychologist testified. The evidence in the record established that the Individual was participating in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, that he was attending meetings in a group that connected him to his culture and community, and that he had submitted multiple negative PEth tests.
The DOE Psychologist testified that after hearing the Individual and his brother's testimony and reviewing the exhibits, he believes that the Individual has gained insight into the fact that his drinking behavior was problematic. The DOE Psychologist further opined that the Individual has put forth sufficient evidence of rehabilitation. She stated that the Individual's AA attendance verification coupled with his testimony shows that he began attending AA meetings in April 2022, and she found his assertions credible, that he was attending AA meetings since April consistently. The DOE Psychologist further concluded that she is satis The DOE Psychologist testified that based on the testimony at the hearing that he believed that the Individual had put forth sufficient evidence of rehabilitation. He noted that the Individual had largely fulfilled the recommendations made in his report. While the Individual did not enroll in psychodynamic therapy, the Psychologist felt that the Individual's cultural group meetings provide the Individual with a feeling of connection similar to what would be achieved in psychodynamic therapy.
The Administrative Judge concluded that the Individual had mitigated the Guideline G concerns. The Individual testimony was credible about the measures he had taken to stop his drinking. The Individual has backed up his testimony with a series of negative PEth tests which would detect alcohol consumption. Lastly, the DOE Psychologist provided a creditable expert testimony regarding the Individual's rehabilitation. Based on the evidence, the Administrative Judge concluded that the Individual had mitigated Guideline G and Guideline J concerns. (OHA Case No. PSH-22-0119, Cronin)