PSH-18-0085 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

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On March 21, 2019, an OHA Administrative Judge (AJ) issued a decision in which he determined that an Individual’s DOE access authorization should be restored. A DOE-consultant psychologist ("DOE Psychologist") diagnosed the individual ("Individual") with Alcohol Use Disorder, Severe under the DSM-5, after police charged him with Reckless Endangerment with a Firearm. During the incident which led to this arrest, the Individual, who was intoxicated at the time, had discharged a firearm while heavily intoxicated. At the hearing conducted by the AJ, the Individual was able to establish through testimony and the submission of laboratory testing results that he had abstained from alcohol use for the past 13 months. The Individual also provided testimony and evidentiary support for additional steps he has taken to address his Alcohol Use Disorder, including undergoing individual counseling, family therapy, receiving alcohol education counseling, and attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings. The Psychologist and the Individual’s Counselor both testified that the Individual’s Alcohol Use Disorder was now in full sustained remission, and the probability for relapse is low.  Importantly, both the Psychologist and the Counselor testified that the Individual’s behaviors which led to his arrest resulted from his Alcohol Use Disorder, and were therefore unlikely to recur now that his Alcohol Use Disorder has been successfully treated. Accordingly, the AJ found that Individual had presented compelling evidence that he has gained the insight and understanding to recognize that he has a problem with alcohol, the destructive role that alcohol has had in his life, and his need to permanently abstain from alcohol use, and had has taken the appropriate actions to address and treat his Alcohol Use Disorder by obtaining alcohol education counseling, undergoing individual and family counseling, and attending AA meetings. Most importantly, the AJ found that these actions have been effective; as demonstrated by the Individual’s abstinence from alcohol use for 13 months. The AJ further found that as long as the Individual abstains from alcohol use, the defects in judgment, reliability, stability, and trustworthiness that were exhibited during his criminal activity are highly unlikely to recur. The AJ therefore found that the Individual had mitigated the security concerns raised under Guidelines G and J. Accordingly, the AJ found that the Individual's access authorization should be restored. OHA Case No. PSH-18-0085 (Steven L. Fine).