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Summary of Decisions - April 21, 2014 – April 25, 2014

April 25, 2014 - 8:08am

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Personnel Security (10 CFR Part 710)

On April 23, 2014, an OHA Administrative Judge issued a decision in which he concluded that an individual’s security clearance should not be restored.  The individual was originally granted access authorization following a favorable administrative review decision in 2008. At that time the individual acknowledged his problems with alcohol and testified that he planned to permanently abstain from alcohol consumption. He resumed drinking in 2010 and, in May 2013, was arrested for driving while intoxicated following his having hit another car while he was driving the wrong direction on an interstate highway (BAC of .228). The May 2013 arrest was his fourth alcohol-related arrest over a 14-year period.  A DOE consulting psychologist evaluated the individual and concluded that he had suffered from alcohol abuse for at least the last several years, which had caused, and could continue to cause, significant defects in his reliability and judgment. Although the individual completed an intensive outpatient program on alcohol use prior to the hearing (his third alcohol program since 2002), he relapsed following the hearing and was arrested approximately 12 hours following the hearing for DWI.  Within the individual’s five arrests, the Administrative Judge noted a history of (1) belligerence towards law enforcement officers during his arrests, and (2) inaccurately reporting details of his arrests to his security office. Under these circumstances, the Administrative Judge found no mitigated of the security concerns relating to the excessive use of alcohol and diagnosis. OHA Case No. PSH-13-0124 (Wade M. Boswell)

On April 21, 2014 an OHA Administrative Judge issued a decision in which she concluded that an individual’s security clearance should not be restored.  In June 2013, as part of a background investigation, the local security office (LSO) conducted a Personnel Security Interview (PSI) of the individual to address concerns about his alcohol use.  During that PSI, the individual was referred to a DOE consultant psychologist (DOE psychologist) for an agency-sponsored evaluation who concluded that the individual suffers from Alcohol Dependence and Alcohol Use Disorder.  After conducting a hearing and evaluating the documentary and testimonial evidence, the Administrative Judge found that the individual had not demonstrated adequate evidence of rehabilitation from Alcohol Dependence and Alcohol Use Disorder, and thus had not mitigated the DOE’s security concerns.  Accordingly, the Administrative Judge concluded that the individual’s security clearance should not be restored.  OHA Case No. PSH-13-0123 (Kimberly Jenkins-Chapman)

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Appeal

On April 22, 2014, OHA issued a decision denying an appeal (Appeal) from a FOIA determination issued by the DOE’s Richland Operations Office (ROO). The Appellant, Oles, Morrison, Rinker, Baker LLP, contested the adequacy of the search for documents responsive to its FOIA request.  The Appellant is a law firm that represents Babcock Services, Inc. (BSI), and it claimed that ROO did not provide copies of emails to and from individuals at CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company (CHPRC) and its subcontractor, BSI, with “@rl.gov” email addresses regarding the solicitation, hire or recruitment of BSI employees by CHPRC.  ROO claimed that the requested emails were agency records as they were not in the possession of the DOE at the time of the FOIA Request and that based on ROO’s contract with CHPRC, documents regarding employment and procurement are deemed contractor-owned records. Therefore, the OHA concluded that the requested documents are not agency records and denied the Appeal.  OHA Case No. FIA-14-0022 

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