Security Clearance Process

DOE Contractor Overcomes Multiple Issues to Get Clearance Reinstated

One of the first security clearance appeal cases in 2023 for the Department of Energy (DOE) involved issues and concerns under sexual behavior, personal conduct, drug involvement, psychological conditions, and criminal conduct. The DOE contractor was issued a Letter of Interrogatory and his subsequent response did not mitigate the concerns. The contractor was evaluated by a DOE psychologist who opined that he had a myriad of symptoms for a variety of disorders, the most serious involving dissociative episodes where time has passed, and he did not know what had happened. It was recommended he complete psychotherapy sessions and undergo medication management. Here are the highlights of the other concerns cited:

Sexual Behavior – he exhibited poor judgment in continuing to meet men through online dating sites despite having been sexually assaulted in 2021.

Personal Conduct– he failed to expeditiously report illegal drug use with the mandated two days after use and he associated with friends who also supplied him the drugs.

Drug Involvement- while holding a security clearance, he used methamphetamine.

Criminal Conduct- his involvement with meth is also considered criminal conduct even though he was not charged with anything.

So, how did he overcome all of these issues, you ask? The judge in this case considered the following mitigating factors: he successfully completed an intensive outpatient treatment program; the therapist testified that the contractor has progressed considerably from when treatment first started and is no longer at risk for using stimulants to offset anxieties caused by the sexual assault; he stated his intent to keep seeking therapy and counseling; the drug use was a reaction to a traumatic event and is not likely to reoccur; the DOE psychologist provided a good prognosis and it appears the medication management plan is working. Clearance eligibility was reinstated! You can read the entire case summary here.


  1. Sexual Behavior – he exhibited poor judgment in continuing to meet men through online dating sites despite having been sexually assaulted in 2021.

    This seems really unusual to me; would they say the same thing to a woman who was sexually assaulted after going to a bar? That continuing to date in person is a lack of judgment? Online dating is a fact of life nowadays. I wonder how something like this would have even come up, I don’t remember any SF-86 I filled out asking about how you chose to date?

    I know the feds don’t have to follow state laws but some states have VERY strict laws concerning the rights of sexual assault survivors and discrimination against crime victims. Imagine DOE being told "The State University of Wherever will no longer send interns to your facilities or engage in research with you due to your violation of (insert victims rights law here). Similar things can and have happened.