PSH-20-0063 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

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On July 24, 2020, an Administrative Judge determined that an Individual’s access authorization under 10 C.F.R. Part 710 should be restored. The Individual notified the local security office that she had voluntarily admitted herself to an in-patient medical facility for treatment related to alcohol abuse. A DOE-contracted psychologist (DOE Psychologist) subsequently evaluated the Individual and determined that she met the diagnostic criteria for Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), Moderate, under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth Edition (DSM-5). The DOE Psychologist recommended that the Individual demonstrate rehabilitation or reformation by abstaining from alcohol, pursuing counseling for at least six more months, attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings and working with an AA sponsor, and attending counseling regarding a personal matter. At the hearing, the Individual testified that she had abstained from alcohol for over one year, complied with all of the DOE Psychologist’s recommendations, and had established a support system through AA and her family that would assist her in abstaining from alcohol in the future. A licensed professional counselor testified that the Individual had actively participated in counseling for substance abuse for over six months and had a positive prognosis for avoiding returning to problematic drinking. The DOE Psychologist testified that, based on the new information that he learned during the hearing, he believed that the Individual’s AUD was in sustained remission and that the Individual had a good prognosis for remaining abstinent from alcohol in the future. Therefore, the Administrative Judge concluded that the Individual had mitigated the security concerns asserted by the LSO under Guideline G and that her access authorization should be restored.  OHA Case No. PSH-20-0063 (Richard A. Cronin, Jr.).