PSH-20-0013 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

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On January 29, 2020, an Administrative Judge determined that an Individual's access authorization under 10 C.F.R. Part 710 should not be restored. The Individual disclosed on an Electronic Questionnaire for Investigations Processing that he had entered into treatment for alcohol use at an in-patient facility. During an interview with an Office of Personnel Management investigator, the Individual stated under oath that he had abstained from alcohol since his discharge from the in-patient facility and was attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings. However, an investigation of the Individual revealed that he failed to comply with the aftercare recommended by the in-patient facility and had relapsed into excessive consumption of alcohol. A DOE-contracted psychologist (DOE Psychologist) evaluated the Individual and concluded that he met the diagnostic criteria for Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), Moderate, under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Fifth Edition (DSM-V). The DOE Psychologist recommended that the Individual demonstrate rehabilitation or reformation by abstaining from alcohol, undergoing alcohol testing, and participating in AA or a comparable program for twelve months. At the hearing, the Individual testified that he had abstained from consuming alcohol for more than twelve months. Several of the Individual's family members also testified that they believed that the Individual was abstaining from alcohol. However, the Individual testified inconsistently as to when he last consumed alcohol and did not produce laboratory testing as evidence of his abstinence. The Individual also testified that he had not attended AA meetings as recommended by the DOE Psychologist because he did not believe that doing so was a requirement. The Administrative Judge determined that the Individual's testimony alone was not sufficient to establish that he had abstained from alcohol in light of his inconsistent accounts of his drinking. In light of the uncertainty as to the Individual's abstinence, and taking account of the Individual's prior relapse and willful decision not to follow the DOE Psychologist's treatment recommendations, the Administrative Judge concluded that the Individual did not meet any of the mitigating conditions under Guideline G. Therefore, she determined that the Individual's access authorization should not be restored. OHA Case No. PSH-20-0013 (Kimberly Jenkins- Chapman).