PSH-19-0022 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

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On July 17, 2019, an Administrative Judge determined that an Individual should not be granted access authorization under 10 C.F.R. Part 710. The Individual completed an Electronic Questionnaire for Investigations Processing (e-QIP) in which he disclosed that he had previously used marijuana on a regular basis, but represented that he had stopped doing so in 2016 and that he had not used any other illegal drugs or controlled substances in the last seven years. However, a background investigation revealed that the Individual had not fully disclosed the extent of his drug use, and the Individual admitted in an interview with an investigator that he had misrepresented the last date on which he had used marijuana, failed to disclose that he continued to associate with drug-using individuals, and had failed to disclose his prior use of hallucinogenic mushrooms and cocaine. At the hearing, the Individual admitted to having lied on the e-QIP because he thought that truthfully disclosing the extent of his drug usage would have prevented him from obtaining a security clearance. The Individual represented that he had fully disclosed his prior drug use to the investigator before being confronted with the facts, no longer used illegal drugs, and had partially disassociated from drug using individuals. The Individual promised that he would only use marijuana in the future if it was federally decriminalized or he failed to obtain a security clearance and that he would not misrepresent or omit information in any security-related context in the future. The Administrative Judge determined that the Individual had not mitigated the security concerns under Guideline E because he had not fully disassociated from drug using individuals and only disclosed the full extent of his prior drug use months after completing the e-QIP by which time the investigator had learned the information from numerous sources.  The Administrative Judge determined that the Individual had not mitigated the security concerns under Guideline H because the Individual had misrepresented his drug use in the past and his testimony alone was not sufficient to establish that he had stopped using drugs, and also because the Individual continued to associate with drug-using individuals. Therefore, the Administrative Judge determined that the Individual should not be granted access authorization. OHA Case No. PSH-19-0022 (Richard A. Cronin, Jr.,).