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PSH-13-0062 - In the Matter of Personnel Security Hearing

On August 16, 2013, an OHA Hearing Officer issued a Decision in which she concluded that the DOE should not restore an individual’s suspended DOE access authorization.  A DOE Operations Office referred  the individual, an applicant for DOE access authorization, to administrative review under 10 C.F.R. Part 710, issues pertaining to the individual’s use of alcohol, including the individual’s two past arrests for Driving While Intoxicated as well as his diagnosis of alcohol dependence by a DOE consultant-psychologist.  The individual requested a hearing before an OHA Hearing Officer.  Following the hearing, the Hearing Officer determined that the individual had presented sufficient evidence to mitigate the security concerns.  The Hearing Officer found that the individual had made excellent progress in treating his alcohol problem, including acknowledging his condition, voluntarily attending an intensive outpatient treatment program, and becoming an active participant in Alcoholics Anonymous – attending several meetings per week, working closely with a sponsor, and chairing meetings.  In addition, the individual, having committed to abstinence from alcohol, demonstrated six months of abstinence from alcohol and intended to maintain his abstinence indefinitely.  Nevertheless, the Hearing Officer was persuaded by the DOE psychologist’s testimony that, with only six months of abstinence and treatment, it was too early in the individual’s recovery to conclude that he was adequately rehabilitated from his condition.  Similarly, the Hearing Officer determined that insufficient time had elapsed since the individual’s most recent DWI arrest to fully resolve the security concerns raised by his past criminal conduct.  Consequently, the Hearing Officer determined that the individual had not yet mitigated the security concerns and the DOE should not restore his suspended security clearance.

Diane Demoura - Hearing Officer