Biden administration employee, and one of the first gender nonbinary federal officials in government — was accused of stealing the luggage of a Minneapolis traveler in September.
According to court papers, Sam Brinton, deputy assistant secretary for spent-fuel and waste disposal at the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy was charged with felonious theft. He allegedly stole a Vera Bradley bag, estimated at $2,325, from baggage claim at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport on September 16, according to court records.
Brinton, who uses the they/them pronouns in his speech, was captured on surveillance camera grabbing the suitcase and removing the ID tag, which identified its owner, according to the filings.
The Vera Bradley suitcase was later used by the two suspects on at least two occasions during their travels to Washington DC, investigators stated.
Although Brinton initially denied that he stole the suitcase, he later admitted to it to officers.
Brinton stated that she had initially told the officer, “If I took the wrong bag, then I am happy to have it returned, but I don’t have any clothes for another person.” “Those were my clothes, when I opened the bag.”
Brinton called the officer two hours later and admitted that he wasn’t being entirely honest.
They claimed they were tired and accidentally grabbed the wrong bag from the luggage carousel.
According to court filings Brinton claimed that when they opened the bag at the hotel, they realized it wasn’t theirs. But, they got anxious about what would happen if someone thought they stole it. They stated that they took out the luggage and placed the person’s clothes in drawers on a dresser in their room.
As first reported by Alpha News in Minnesota, the official was charged for felony theft of a mobile property without consent.
Brinton — who was the first nonbinary official in the government — was taken off leave approximately a month after the accusations.
An interim replacement for them was chosen by another official earlier in the month according to the Exchange Monitor. This monitor tracks the moves of government officials.
A spokesperson for DOE confirmed Brinton’s move to Fox News Digital.
Brinton could be sentenced for up to five year imprisonment or a $10,000 fine if convicted.