Security Clearance Denial

Sexual Addiction Results in DOE Clearance Denial

A contractor employee working for the Department of Energy had his security clearance suspended because he was caught viewing pornography at work on his government computer. After an administrative inquiry was conducted by the local security office, it was determined that the employee had been viewing sexually explicit material at work since 2012 and had previously been reprimanded in 1997 for similar conduct. Needless to say, this misconduct was not viewed favorably and DOE opted not to reinstate the clearance. This falls under DOE Adjudicative Guidelines: Criterion L for conduct involving questionable judgment, lack of candor, dishonesty, or unwillingness to comply with rules and regulations.

The employee appealed to the DOE Appeals Board to have his clearance reinstated, arguing that he has mitigated the concerns by: having been in counseling for 3 three months; being open and honest with family, friends, and his supervisor about the issue, and receiving favorable prognosis from both his therapist and church counselor. The judge in this case acknowledged that he had partially mitigated the concerns, but also reasoned that it was not until after his clearance was suspended that the employee addressed his problem and sought counseling, first through his church, and then later with a certified therapist who diagnosed him as suffering from a mental condition known as sexual addiction. Given the lengthy amount of time this conduct had been going on despite knowing it was against regulations and rules, not enough time has passed to be certain he is fully rehabilitated. The judge’s decision was also influenced by the therapist’s recommendation that the employee complete 18 months of counseling to meet established timeframes for this type of addiction.

What is the moral of this story? Don’t view porn at work…period!