Minneapolis, MN – A nuclear official working for President Joe Biden’s administration has been accused of stealing a high-dollar suitcase from an airport baggage claim, then lying about the ordeal when confronted by police about a month later.
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition Sam Brinton, one of the first non-binary officials to work for the federal government, allegedly stole the luggage while at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport baggage claim on Sept. 16, the New York Post reported.
Police were quickly notified about the missing $2,325 Vera Bradley suitcase and were able to pull surveillance footage of the baggage claim area, according to court documents.
The video allegedly showed Brinton, 34, snatching the high-dollar luggage off of the carousel and pulling off an affixed tag identifying the true owner of the bag, the New York Post reported.
Court documents alleged Brinton “removed the blue bag’s tag and put the bag tag in the handbag they were carrying,” then “left the area at a quick pace,” the Exchange Monitor reported.
According to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Police Department, Brinton had not even checked a bag on the American Airlines flight he took that day.
It’s official. As of June 19th, I now serve my nation as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition in the Office of Nuclear Energy in the Department of Energy. pic.twitter.com/zLq3Bf97X2
— Sam Brinton (@sbrinton) June 29, 2022
Investigators said they found other surveillance footage showing Brinton using the stolen suitcase while traveling to Washington, DC on both Sept. 18 and on Oct. 9.
When police contacted Brinton about the incident on Oct. 9, the Biden administration official allegedly claimed the bag he had picked up contained his clothing, FOX News reported.
“If I had taken the wrong bag, I am happy to return it, but I don’t have any clothes for another individual,” Brinton claimed, according to police. “That was my clothes when I opened the bag.”
What are your thoughts on new Biden administration Energy Department hire? Pictured here with their husband "Pup Nubi." pic.twitter.com/CpSD4z37wY
— George Gammon (@GeorgeGammon) March 26, 2022
But the nuclear waste assistant secretary called the officer back about two hours later with a different story, according to court documents.
This time, Brinton allegedly told the officer that he hadn’t been “completely honest” and claimed he had accidentally taken the wrong bag because he was so exhausted after his flight, FOX News reported.
“DEFENDANT said when they opened the bag at the hotel, they realized it was not theirs,” court documents read. “DEFENDANT got nervous people would think they stole the bag and did not know what to do. DEFENDANT stated they left the clothes from the bag inside the drawers in the hotel room.”
The criminal complaint was filed in Minnesota’s 4th Judicial District Court on Oct. 27, according to the Exchange Monitor.
Brinton has since been charged with felony theft of a moveable property without consent, the New York Post reported.
The Biden official faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted.
Hey did you hear about Biden's transgender/ gender fluid DOE appointed Sam Brinton, who was charged with felony theft & lying to police after allegedly stealing a woman’s Vera Bradley suitcase at MSP Airport?
Wonder what “their” excuse will be? Fashion emergency maybe? pic.twitter.com/KvUsehmjR2
— Laura K (@LauraKronen) November 29, 2022
A hearing in the case has been scheduled for Dec. 19, according to the Exchange Monitor.
Brinton was placed on leave by the DOE approximately one month ago, FOX News reported.
“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,” a DOE spokesperson said in a statement to the news outlet.
Brinton just stepped into the high-ranking DOE role in June.
“There’s been a lot of people who are quite upset that don’t think that I am quite as qualified as others,” Brinton said during an interview in October, according to FOX News. “I respond with multiple graduate degrees from MIT, a decade of working in nuclear policy and the strongest enthusiasm for working in nuclear waste out of anybody.”
Brinton, who has openly shared his enjoyment of “pup play,” is also a member of a group of drag queens who dress up as nuns to raise awareness about sexual intolerance and transphobia, the Daily Mail reported.
When working with the nonprofit group, known as the Order of Perpetual Indulgence, Brinton uses the alias of Sister Ray Dee O’Active, according to the news outlet.