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PSH-12-0118 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

On January 17, 2013, an OHA Hearing Officer issued a decision in which he concluded that an individual’s security clearance should not be restored.  A Local Security Office suspended the individual’s security clearance after the individual had incurred $20,000 in charges while patronizing a “gentleman’s club” on a single evening; approximately $17,000 of that amount was charged to his corporate credit card.  His employer’s staff psychologists were concerned about the role of alcohol consumption in this incident. Following psychological evaluations, the individual was diagnosed as suffering from Alcohol Abuse. The LSO suspended his access authorization citing Criteria H, J and L. After conducting a hearing and evaluating the documentary and testimonial evidence, the Hearing Officer found that the individual had not presented evidence to mitigate the security concerns. The individual had been previously referred by his employer for alcohol counseling in August 2006 and was unable to maintain a reduced level of alcohol consumption on a long-term basis following that counseling. The individual has now abstained from alcohol consumption since February 2012 and has embraced an alcohol treatment program; however, his participation in alcohol treatment began only three-and-one-half months ago which is insufficient time to demonstrate rehabilitation and reformation with respect to his alcohol use. Although the individual promptly informed his employer of the inappropriate use of his corporate card and made timely payment of the $17,000 charged to his corporate card, concerns with respect to the individual’s honesty, reliability and trustworthiness arising from the misuse of his corporate card cannot be mitigated until the individual mitigates the alcohol concerns.

Wade Boswell - Hearing Officer