- Sam Brinton, a senior Department of Energy official, was caught stealing a suitcase.
- Brinton was filmed removing a blue bag from the baggage claim carousel at Minneapolis-St. Paul airport upon arrival from Washington.
- The woman reported the bag missing to security later that day, and Brinton was eventually identified as the thief.
- Brinton, 34, first said they hadn’t taken the bag but then changed their story
- If convicted, they would now face a potential sentence of five years in jail and/or a $10,000 fine.
A non-binary drag queen working in President Joe Biden’s Department of Energy has been charged with felony theft after they allegedly stole a bag from the baggage claim at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Sam Brinton, the DOE’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition, is accused of taking the bag containing the money in September. They have since taken a leave of absence from their job at the DOE.
If they are found guilty, the possible penalties include five years in jail and/or a $10,000 fine.
Brinton made headlines earlier this year after announcing on LinkedIn that they had become Deputy Assistant Secretary of Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition in the Department of Energy.
The 34-year-old scientist, who was recently the first non-binary person to accept a position in federal government leadership, has not been at work for over a month now. Kim Petry, the acting deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel is currently standing in.
According to Petry, Kathryn Huff, assistant secretary for nuclear energy, wants her to stay on as head of the spent fuel office ‘for the foreseeable future.’
Petry wrote in an email seen by Exchange Monitor that he will have updated information for everyone within the next month or so, which largely depends on what happens at Brinton’s next court hearing later this month on December 19th.
On October 27, a complaint was filed alleging that Brinton was seen on airport surveillance removing a navy blue hard-sided roller bag from a baggage claim carousel. The same day, the bag was reported missing by a woman earlier in the day.
After reviewing several surveillance videos, she identified the bag as hers. She also added that the value of items in the allegedly stolen bag totaled $2,325.
The unreleased video sees Brinton ‘removing the blue bag’s tag and placing the tag in their handbag,’ and then ‘quickly leaving the area,’ as per the complaint details.
Brinton had just arrived from Washington D.C. and was in the airport, though they hadn’t checked a bag for the trip.
Police tracked the thief down quickly, and Brinton denied stealing anything at first. According to the police report, Brinton said ‘If I had taken the wrong bag, I am happy to return it, but I don’t have clothes for another individual.’ He continued by saying ‘That was my clothes when I opened the bag.’
But then they had a change of heart and called the airport police, admitting that they had taken the blue bag. Brinton revised their statement, saying that they were tired and accidentally took the wrong suitcase.
Only after opening the bag did Brinton realize it was not their own, and they were nervous that people would think they had stolen the contents. The couple then went on to claim that the clothes in question had been placed in a drawer at their hotel, the InterContinental St. Paul Riverfront.
Brinton has never returned the bag of clothes, which were never found at the hotel, since the complaint was filed in October.
Brinton, an LGBTQ activist who also happens to have a degree from MIT in nuclear power and energy, frequently posts about their advocacy work as well as unconventional sexual proclivities such as animal role play on social media.
Some photos circulating on social media show me wearing American flag heels and a sparkly dress while standing over three people who are pretending to be dogs.