The Department of Energy won’t say whether it plans to fire Biden administration official Sam Brinton, who was charged with felony theft last month after he allegedly stole a woman’s roller bag from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
“Sam Brinton is on leave from DOE, and Dr. Kim Petry is performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition,” the department told The Federalist in a statement on Tuesday.
DOE’s statement confirms what an auto-response from Brinton’s federal email address, as reported by Alpha News, previously suggested.
According to a criminal complaint reviewed by Alpha News, Brinton snatched the navy blue roller bag and its contents, worth $2,325, from the Minnesota airport baggage claim on Sept. 16 on a trip from Washington, D.C. After reviewing airport records confirming the bag’s arrival and surveillance footage of the incident, law enforcement determined that Brinton deliberately hid the woman’s luggage tag identifying the bag as hers in his own handbag.
The complaint notes that Brinton, who did not check a bag of his own and did not have a valid reason to be in the baggage claim in the first place, “then left the area at a quick pace.”
When police confronted Brinton about the bag nearly a month later, the federal official denied taking “anything that did not belong” to him. After further questioning, Brinton claimed he took the bag because his clothes were inside.
“If I had taken the wrong bag, I am happy to return it, but I don’t have any clothes for another individual. That was my clothes when I opened the bag,” Brinton told law enforcement.
Two hours after his initial call with police, Brinton admitted he was not “completely honest” and claimed he mistakenly grabbed the bag due to exhaustion. Brinton claimed that once he realized it wasn’t his bag, he “got nervous” and abandoned the woman’s clothes in the room but took the luggage back to Washington, D.C.
Police say no clothing was left behind and that requests for Brinton to turn in the bag were still unfulfilled on Oct. 27. That was weeks after Brinton was spotted in the Dulles International Airport using the luggage on a trip from Europe.
Brinton is scheduled to appear in court in Minnesota on Dec. 19.
Self-proclaimed fetishist Brinton first made headlines in June after announcing that he joined the Biden administration as the deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposition in the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy.
In the accompanying picture posted to Twitter, Brinton — celebrated as “the first gender fluid person in federal government leadership” — posed in a women’s red jumpsuit adorned with a necklace and heels decorated with the stars and stripes.
Under Brinton’s list of career accomplishments, the Office of Nuclear Energy lists his history of LGBT activism including becoming a “well-known advocate for LGBTQ youth” and helping “secure protections against the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy in more than half of the country.”
“They identify as gender-fluid and use the pronouns they, them, and theirs,” Brinton’s bio states.