PSH-18-0034 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

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On July 16, 2018, an Administrative Judge determined that an individual should not be granted access authorization under 10 C.F.R. Part 710. The individual is employed by a DOE contractor in a position that requires him to hold a DOE security clearance. The Local Security Office (LSO) received potentially derogatory information regarding the individual’s alcohol consumption. In citing Guideline G, the Notification Letter referenced the opinion of a DOE psychologist that the individual is a habitual or binge consumer of alcohol to the point of impaired judgment on a regular basis of approximately twice monthly. The Notification Letter also recited that the individual was charged with being a Minor in Consumption (MIC) in 2008 and he admitted to drinking four to five beers once or twice a week since December 2011. The DOE psychologist recommended that the individual participate in outpatient alcohol treatment group therapy sessions for a minimum of twelve weeks.

At the hearing, the individual presented evidence from himself and three other witnesses that he was a reliable and trusted employee and that he had abstained from alcohol for fourteen weeks prior to the hearing. He also submitted his resume and a schedule from a treatment facility that demonstrated he had attended two session of individual therapy. Subsequently, the DOE psychologist opined, after having the benefit of listening to the hearing testimony and reviewing the exhibits, that the individual had not rehabilitated his alcohol use despite the period of abstinence because (1) of the way the Individual had handled the DOE psychologist’s recommendations, including that the individual did not actively seek to clarify what they were; (2) the individual did not demonstrate he had developed appropriate coping skills; (3) the individual did not start treatment until just before the hearing; (4) the individual did not provide his therapist with the DOE psychologist’s report; and (5) the individual did not provide a report from the therapist at the hearing.

The Administrative Judge concluded that the individual had not mitigated the security concerns stated in the Notification Letter. The Administrative Judge therefore concluded that the individual should not be granted access authorization. OHA Case No. PSH-18-0034 (James P. Thompson III).