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PSH-13-0016 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

On June 20, 2013, an OHA Hearing Officer issued a decision in which he concluded that an individual’s security clearance should not be restored.  Following an anonymous report, the Human Reliability Program at the individual’s site investigated a report that the individual had been found incoherent and naked at a local convenience store one morning at 2am by one of his co-workers.  During this investigation, the individual’s HRP certification was suspended.  As the investigation was being completed, the individual’s access authorization came due for a periodic re-investigation. During that investigation, the individual reported higher alcohol consumption than he had during the earlier Personnel Security Interview and a psychological investigation. The Local Security Office investigated this discrepant reporting. During the LSO’s investigation, the individual acknowledged that he had been intentionally dishonest about his alcohol consumption because he was afraid he would lose his job.  Based on the higher reported alcohol consumption, the DOE psychologist diagnosed the individual as suffering from Alcohol Dependence and recommended the individual abstain from alcohol for ten months and participate in an intensive outpatient alcohol treatment program to evidence adequate rehabilitation and reformation. 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 was not abstaining from alcohol – he had had three drinks the evening before the hearing – and had not participated in any treatment programs.  At the hearing he acknowledged that he had intentionally lied about his alcohol consumption during the 2011 PSI and psychological evaluation because he had felt “blind-sided” when his HRP certification was suspended and feared he would lose his job if he told the truth. When initially confronted with the discrepant reports, he attempted to blame others rather than acknowledging the falsehood. Access authorization holders are expected to be honest at all times, even if such honesty is to their detriment.

Wade Boswell - Hearing Officer