PSH-18-0086 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

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On March 4, 2019, an Administrative Judge determined that an Individual’s access authorization under 10 C.F.R. Part 710 should be restored. The Individual tested positive for alcohol at work during a random breath alcohol test, and was placed on work restrictions which prohibited him from drinking alcohol. The Individual subsequently tested positive for alcohol during the period of his work restriction. A DOE-contracted psychologist (DOE Psychologist) evaluated the Individual, and the Individual admitted during the evaluation that he had lied about his alcohol consumption over a course of several years during Human Reliability Program evaluations, on an Electronic Questionnaire for Investigations Processing, and during a personnel security interview after he tested positive for alcohol at work. The DOE Psychologist diagnosed the Individual with Alcohol Use Disorder, Moderate, under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, and recommended that the Individual participate in group and individual counseling followed by aftercare for a total of twelve (12) months, abstain from alcohol for the duration of his participation in treatment, attend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings on a weekly basis, obtain an AA sponsor and work the twelve-step AA program, and undergo random alcohol  testing. The Individual provided laboratory test results and witness testimony to establish that he had abstained from alcohol for approximately ten (10) months prior to the hearing. The Individual’s counselor testified that the Individual had successfully completed counseling and was actively participating in aftercare. The Individual’s wife testified that the Individual was attending AA meetings, and the Individual’s AA sponsor submitted a letter as to the Individual’s active participation in AA. An Employee Assistance Program counselor and the Individual’s counselor both testified as to the Individual’s changed outlook on alcohol consumption and his positive prognosis for continuing to abstain from alcohol in the future. After observing the entire hearing, the DOE Psychologist testified that she believed that the Individual had substantially satisfied her treatment recommendations, and that the Individual had a positive prognosis. Moreover, she testified that the Individual was not likely to lie about his alcohol consumption in the future as he seemed to have adopted a changed mindset that would help to control his Alcohol Use Disorder. The Administrative Judge determined that the Individual mitigated the security concerns under Guidelines E and G. Accordingly, the Administrative Judge determined that the Individual’s access authorization should be restored. OHA Case No. PSH-18-0086 (Richard A. Cronin, Jr.).