PSH-18-0065 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

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On November 19, 2018, an OHA Administrative Judge (AJ) issued a decision in which he determined that an individual’s DOE access authorization should not be restored. In May 2018, a DOE-consultant psychologist ("DOE Psychologist") diagnosed the individual ("Individual") with a mild alcohol use disorder under the DSM-5. He further concluded that the Individual was binge consuming alcohol and drinking habitually to the point of impaired judgment. The Individual was also charged with five alcohol-related offenses between June 1990 and 2015, including Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in November 2015. Additionally, the Individual admitted in a February 2018 PSI to drinking to intoxication on a daily basis between March 2011 and February 2013, as well as regularly driving while intoxicated between 1992 and 2012. When the Individual's Local Security Office (LSO) raised concerns about these issues under Guidelines G and J of the Adjudicative Guidelines, the Individual requested a hearing. At the hearing, the Individual testified that he had remained abstinent from alcohol since July 21, 2018. Alcohol testing and the testimony of his wife supported this assertion. The Individual also had completed an alcohol awareness training program and was participating in a treatment program and meeting with a therapist. The Individual testified that he recognized he had a drinking problem and that he was committed to remaining abstinent. Nevertheless, at the hearing, the Individual's therapist and the DOE Psychologist both testified that the Individual remained in the early stages of his recovery and the treatment process. The DOE Psychologist characterized the Individual's prognosis for continued abstinence as "guarded." Based on the evidence in the record, the AJ found that it was too early in the Individual's recovery to conclude that he had demonstrated a clear and established pattern of abstinence or that he was unlikely to relapse in the future. Accordingly, the AJ found that the Individual had not mitigated the security concerns raised under Guideline G. The AJ further found that, because the Individual had not mitigated the security concerns regarding his alcohol consumption, the Individual had not sufficiently mitigated the risk that he would commit alcohol-related criminal offenses in the future. Thus, the AJ found that the Individual had not mitigated the security concerns raised under Guideline J. Accordingly, the AJ found that the Individual's access authorization should not be restored. OHA Case No. PSH-18-0065 (Gregory S. Krauss).