PSH-20-0041 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

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On December 11, 2020, an Administrative Judge determined that an Individual's access authorization should not be  restored  under  10 C.F.R.  Part  710.  The  Individual  was  arrested  for Aggravated Assault in October 2018 as a result of an altercation with his girlfriend after consuming alcohol. The Individual subsequently met  with  a  DOE-contracted  Psychiatrist  (  DOE Psychiatrist) for a clinical interview. During the clinical interview, the Individual reported that he consumed alcohol in moderation and  had  not  consumed  alcohol  for  at  least  three  weeks prior to the clinical interview. However, laboratory testing provided evidence that the Individual had consumed alcohol heavily within several weeks of the clinical interview. In light    of this evidence that the Individual had misrepresented  his  alcohol  consumption  habits,  the  DOE Psychiatrist concluded that the Individual binge consumed  alcohol  to  the  point  of  impaired judgment and met the diagnostic criteria  for  AUD,  Moderate,  under  the  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Fifth Edition (DSM-5). The DOE Psychiatrist recommended that the Individual demonstrate rehabilitation or reformation by  attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, obtaining an AA sponsor, and undergoing periodic  random alcohol tests. At the hearing, the Individual  testified  that  he  had  consumed  six  or  seven beers in a sitting several days before the clinical interview, but had not disclosed that fact to the DOE Psychiatrist  because  he  found  the  DOE  Psychiatrist's  questions  concerning  his alcohol consumption practices confusing. The Individual  asserted  that  he  did  not  believe that his consumption of alcohol was problematic because  he  only  consumed  alcohol  occasionally and had not experienced occupational impairment or engaged in unlawful activity after drinking. The Individual indicated that he had last consumed alcohol several weeks prior  to the hearing. The DOE Psychiatrist opined that his opinion was unchanged and that he did not expect the Individual to control his problematic alcohol consumption unless  he  abstained  from alcohol. The Individual misrepresented his alcohol consumption to the DOE  Psychiatrist,  and his explanation for this misrepresentation was illogical  and  suggested  that  the  Individual  had not acted in good faith to fully disclose derogatory information. Accordingly, the Administrative Judge concluded that the Individual had  not  resolved  the  security  concerns  under Guideline E. Additionally, the Individual denied that his alcohol consumption was problematic, continued to consume alcohol, and did not follow the DOE Psychiatrist's recommendations for demonstrating rehabilitation or reformation.  Thus,  the  Administrative  Judge found that the Individual had not resolved the security concerns under Guideline G. Therefore, the  Administrative  Judge  concluded  that  the  Individual's  access  authorization should not be restored. OHA Case No. PSH-20-0041 (Kimberly Jenkins-Chapman).