PSH-20-0010 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

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On March 5, 2020, an Administrative Judge determined that an individual's access authorization under 10 C.F.R. Part 710 should not be granted. During the course of an investigation, the Individual completed a Questionnaire for National Security Positions (QNSP) in July 2017 and completed a Letter of Interrogatory (LOI) in May 2019. The Individual indicated in his QNSP that while serving in the military and performing a stressful job, he began consuming alcohol and over-the-counter sleep aids in an unhealthy manner. The Individual further stated that he sought treatment in 2016, and remained sober for one year. The Individual began consuming alcohol in 2017. Based on the information provided in the QNSP and LOI, the Local Security Office (LSO) had the Individual undergo a psychological evaluation. The DOE psychologist did not diagnose the Individual with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) although he was diagnosed with AUD in the past. Based on the interview conducted, the DOE psychologist determined that the Individual was habitually and/or binge consuming alcohol to the point of impaired judgment and recommended three months of outpatient treatment followed by continued monthly outpatient prevention sessions. The Individual did not follow the DOE psychologist's recommendations. The Individual argued that his problematic alcohol consumption is unlikely to recur because he is no longer under the same stressful circumstances as he was when he was in the military. However, the Administrative Judge did not find this argument convincing because the Individual is consuming enough alcohol to achieve some level of intoxication at least twice per month despite the fact he is no longer in the military and testified to having developed coping mechanisms. The Individual indicated in his testimony that as social invitations increase during warmer months of the year, his alcohol consumption increases. Additionally, the Individual will consume more alcohol than usual during holidays or other such occasions. He did not recognize that his current alcohol consumption falls within his past pattern of maladaptive alcohol use, and has not taken any action to treat the issue. Therefore, the Administrative Judge could not find that the Individual had established a pattern of modified consumption or abstinence. Accordingly, the Individual did not resolve Guideline G alcohol concerns. OHA Case No. PSH-20-0010 (Kimberly Jenkins-Chapman).