PSH-19-0048 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

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On December 19, 2019, an OHA Administrative Judge (AJ) issued a decision in which she determined that an Individual's DOE access authorization should not be granted. To support the Guideline G security concerns, the LSO alleges that (1) the Individual was a habitual and binge consumer of alcohol to the point of impaired judgement; (2) the DOE Psychologist's determination that the Individual met the diagnostic criteria for Alcohol Use Disorder under the DSM-5; (3) the Individual's admission to consuming twelve to fifteen beers and half of a pint of vodka per week since 2015; (4) the Individual's admission to consuming alcohol at work and smelling of alcohol at work during prior employment; and (5) the Individual's admission to having entered in-patient treatment for his alcohol use but refusing to participate in aftercare following his discharge. At the hearing, the Individual asserted that he has taken steps to reduce his drinking and that his alcohol consumption did not present a security risk. The Individual's unsupported claim to have significantly reduced his drinking within the month prior to the hearing is not sufficient to convince me that he will not return to problematic drinking in the future. Also, the Individual does not acknowledge his problematic alcohol use and has not brought forth evidence of a clear and established pattern of modified consumption or abstinence. The DOE Psychologist indicated that the Individual's lack of recognition of his problems with alcohol make it difficult for him to maintain sobriety over a long period of time. He expressed a guarded to fair prognosis for the Individual's ability to avoid problematic alcohol consumption. Consequently, based on all of the above, the Administrative Judge found that the Individual's access authorization should not be granted at this time. OHA Case No. PSH -19-0048 (Janet R. H. Fishman).