PSH-20-0060 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

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On July 23, 2020, an Administrative Judge (AJ) determined that an Individual's access authorization under 10 C.F.R. Part 710 should not be restored. The Individual was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) on January 10, 2019, his third DWI arrest.  The local security office subsequently sent the Individual a letter of interrogatory requesting information concerning the Individual's alcohol use, and requested that the Individual undergo an evaluation by a DOE-contracted psychiatrist (the Psychiatrist). Following a clinical interview, the Psychiatrist issued a report in which he concluded that the Individual meets the diagnostic criteria for Alcohol Use Disorder, Moderate (AUD, Moderate) under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders' Fifth Edition (DSM-5).

 

The Individual acknowledged that he has an alcohol problem, has expressed his determination to permanently abstain from alcohol use, and has been abstaining from the use of alcohol for five months at the time of the hearing.  The Individual had also been attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings on a weekly basis, and attending individual counseling on a twice-monthly basis. However, at the hearing, the Individual's counselor (the Counselor) opined that the Individual was in the early stage of his recovery.  A substance abuse specialist who evaluated the Individual shortly before the Hearing opined that the Individual did not have the requisite information, knowledge, or professional assistance to make appropriate changes in his life with regard to his drinking. The Psychiatrist testified that the Individual had made progress in his recovery, but had not received sufficient treatment and counseling, had not attended an Intensive Outpatient Program, and had not fully engaged in AA.  The Psychiatrist further noted that the Individual had only been sober for five months, and needed to be sober for one year in order to be considered to be in "sustained remission" under the DSM-5.  Although the AJ noted that the Individual had made progress in his recovery, he found that the Individual's recovery was in its early stages and therefore not sufficient to mitigate the security concerns arising from his AUD and three DWI arrests.  Accordingly, the Administrative Judge concluded that the Individual's access authorization should not be restored, since he had not resolved the security concerns asserted by the LSO under Guidelines G and J. OHA Case No. PSH-20-0060 (Steven L. Fine).