PSH-20-0070 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

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On November 13, 2020, an Administrative Judge (AJ) determined that an Individual's access authorization under 10 C.F.R. Part 710 should not be restored. Police arrested and charged Individual with Public Intoxication (PI) after an incident involving the Individual on an aircraft  that occurred after  she  had  consumed  alcohol. The Individual  had  previously  been  arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Because of this arrest, a local  security  office  (LSO)  issued Letters of Interrogatory LOI) to the Individual requesting  information  concerning  this arrest and her alcohol use. The Individual's responses provided in response to these LOI's  contained material omissions which served to obscure that fact that she had continued to use alcohol despite her previous assurances to the LSO, given after her DUI arrest, that she had  stopped using alcohol and intended to abstain from alcohol use in the future.

The LSO requested that the Individual undergo an evaluation by  a  psychologist  (the Psychologist). The Psychologist concluded that that the Individual was drinking significant amounts of alcohol which had repeatedly caused  her  major  problems.  Noting  that  the  Individual was not receiving treatment for her drinking, or her "impulsive, controlling psychological conditions," the Psychologist recommended that the Individual  abstain  from  alcohol for at least nine months, actively participate in Alcoholics  Anonymous  (AA)  meetings  for one year, attend an intensive outpatient program  (IOP), and obtain individual counseling. In addition, the Psychologist reported that the  Individual  had  repeatedly  provided  him  with  false information minimizing her alcohol consumption during his interview of her.

The Individual began attending an IOP for her alcohol issues, however, she was arrested and charged with a second DUI while attending  this  program. She eventually  successfully  completed the IOP. At the hearing,  the  Individual  continued  to  exhibit a lack of  candor,  which led the AJ to conclude that she had not resolved the security concerns raised under  Guideline E concerning her previous lack of candor.

Concerning the security concerns about the Individual raised under Guideline G, the AJ found that the Individual had only abstained from alcohol use for four months, noting that she had    been able to abstain for short periods before, but had relapsed several times. The AJ further  found that even after the Individual's alcohol use put her career in jeopardy, she  chose  to  consume alcohol and to drive under the influence of alcohol, and that  even  with  the  possibility  of losing her job looming on the horizon, the Individual was unable to abstain from alcohol for more than a few months at most.

Accordingly, the AJ concluded that, although the Individual may indeed remain abstinent and follow through with her treatment goals, as of  the  hearing  date,  there  remained  significant  doubt about her ability to control her drinking. Accordingly, the AJ found that Individual had not resolved the security concerns arising under Guidelines E and G. OHA Case No.PSH- 20-0070 (Steven Fine).