PSH-18-0042 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

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On August 14, 2018, an Administrative Judge determined that an Individual's access authorization under 10 C.F.R. Part 710 should be granted. A background investigation on the Individual revealed that the Individual had a history of failing to meet his financial obligations and suffered from memory lapses and muscle tics as a result of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) stemming from his service in the U.S. Army. The Individual disclosed, during a personnel security interview conducted by the local security office, that he had incurred significant gambling losses.  A DOE consulting psychologist (DOE Psychologist) evaluated the Individual and concluded that the Individual's differing accounts of his gambling and physical and mental health, depending on the circumstances, reflected a lack of candor and formed a constellation of a personality condition which impaired his judgment, stability, reliability, and trustworthiness. The Individual offered the testimony of his own psychologist (Individual's Psychologist) at the hearing. The Individual's Psychologist opined that the Individual did not have a personality condition, and that his varying accounts of his PTSD symptoms were due to an escalation in symptoms after a series of traumatic events in the Individual's life followed by a reduction in symptoms after the Individual obtained treatment. The Individual also presented evidence establishing that some instances of lack of candor put forth by the DOE Psychologist in her report were the product of misunderstandings of the facts by the DOE Psychologist.

The Administrative Judge concluded that the Individual's prior emotional instability was a temporary condition brought on by unique events in the Individual's life, that the situation had been resolved, and that there were no indications of a current problem. The Administrative Judge therefore concluded that the Individual's access authorization should be granted. OHA Case No. PSH-18-0042 (Kimberly Jenkins-Chapman).