PSH-19-0046 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

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On November 5, 2019, an OHA Administrative Judge (AJ) issued a decision in which he determined that an Individual’s DOE access authorization should not be restored. The Individual had been diagnosed with Alcohol Use Disorder, Severe, (AUD) by a DOE Psychologist (the DOE Psychologist), after having been voluntarily hospitalized for treatment of his alcohol disorder.  In addition, a court had issued a restraining order against the Individual after finding that he had committed a ba

ttery on a household member. At the hearing conducted by the AJ, the Individual attempted to mitigate the concerns arising from his AUD, by showing that he regularly attends Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, had not consumed alcohol for six months, and had begun undergoing Individual counseling a week before the hearing.  He also testified that he intended to obtain an AA sponsor and to begin working AA’s 12-Step Program.  After the hearing, he submitted a letter from an Individual indicating that he was the Individual’s new sponsor. The Individual also showed, through the testimony of his mother and cohabitating girlfriend, that he has a strong family support network. After hearing the Individual’s testimony, the DOE Psychologist testified that all of the factors that led him to conclude that the Individual still met the diagnostic criteria for Alcohol Use Disorder, Severe (AUD) were still applicable. He further opined that the Individual’s AUD is not in full sustained remission, since the Individual needs to completely abstain from alcohol use for at least 12 months before he can be considered to be in full sustained remission. After considering the testimony of the Individual, his mother, present supervisor, current girlfriend, his Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and the Psychologist, the AJ determined that the Individual’s prognosis for his AUD was not sufficiently favorable to resolve the security concerns raised by it, noting that the Individual has a history of three relapses since undergoing inpatient treatment in 2017, and that he had only been abstinent from alcohol use for six months. Turning to the security concerns raised, under Guideline E, by the incident which led to a judge’s issuing a restraining order to the Individual, the AJ found that the Individual had not shown that any of the mitigating conditions set forth in the Adjudicative Guidelines that could mitigate security concerns under Guideline E existed.  In reaching this determination, the AJ found that the Individual’s continuing insistence that the altercation between him and his ex-girlfriend was solely her fault, and due to her alleged mental illness, continues to cast doubt upon his reliability, trustworthiness, or good judgment. For these reasons, the AJ found that the Individual has not satisfied any of the mitigating conditions under Guidelines E and G. Accordingly, the AJ found that the Individual's access authorization should not be restored. OHA Case No. PSH-19-0046 (Steven L. Fine).