On November 8, 2012, an OHA Hearing Officer issued a decision in which he concluded the DOE should not grant an individual an access authorization. A Local Security Office (LSO) raised certain concerns regarding (1) false statements by the individual during the security clearance process; (2) the individual’s problematic use of alcohol; (3) his use past use of illegal drugs. After conducting a hearing and evaluating the documentary and testimonial evidence, the Hearing Officer found that the individual had presented sufficient evidence to mitigate the security concerns raised by his use of illegal drugs, but not those stemming from his false statements and problematic use of alcohol. Specifically, the Hearing Officer found that the concerns raised by illegal drug use were resolved, based in large part on the time that has passed since that use and, in the case of the most recent use of illegal drugs, its isolated nature. In contrast, the individual’s past excessive use of alcohol was long-standing, beginning in high school and continuing on a more habitual basis during his military service from 2003 to 2007. Since leaving the military, the individual had reduced his consumption of alcohol, but continued to drink approximately six beers per occasion, once a month. The Hearing Officer found that this amount qualified his behavior as binge drinking, and from the individual’s own statements, was more than sufficient to cause him to be intoxicated. As such, the Hearing Officer found that the risk, going forward, of impairment of the individual’s judgment on a regular basis to be such that the concern related to alcohol use remained unresolved. Finally, the individual did not present testimony or other evidence that would explain or otherwise mitigate the false statements he provided during the security clearance process.
Steven Goering - Hearing Officer