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Non-binary Biden nuclear official Sam Brinton accused in second luggage heist

A Biden energy department official who allegedly stole a woman’s suitcase from a Minneapolis airport in September has been accused of another luggage heist at a Las Vegas airport.

A felony warrant on grand larceny charges was issued for Sam Brinton, the deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposition at the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy, 8 News Now reported Thursday.

Brinton, who made history as one of the federal government’s first gender-fluid officials, allegedly stole luggage from another traveler at Harry Reid International Airport in Vegas on an unknown date, according to the outlet.

Details about the alleged theft are scarce, but 8 News Now stated Brinton, 35, was charged with grand larceny with a value between $1,200 and $5,000.

The energy official, who uses they/them pronouns, reportedly has sticky fingers for suitcases.

Brinton is President Biden’s deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposition at the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy.
JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Brinton was placed on leave from the Department of Energy after it came out they were charged with felony theft for reportedly snatching a woman’s Vera Bradley suitcase from baggage claim at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport on Sept. 16, according to court documents.

The suitcase and the woman’s belongings inside it were valued at $2,325.

Brinton initially denied taking the luggage, but later claimed they mistook it for their own bag at baggage claim — despite never having checked a bag before their flight, according to court filings.

This marks the second time nuclear official Sam Brinton has been accused of stealing luggage.
This marks the second time nuclear official Sam Brinton has been accused of stealing luggage.
Getty Images for The Trevor Proj

They allegedly removed the suitcase’s ID tag after plucking from the luggage carousel, video surveillance showed.

They were later seen using the Vera Bradley suitcase on at least two occasions, while traveling to Washington, DC, on Sept. 18 and Oct. 9, investigators said.

​Brinton was subsequently charged with felony theft of a moveable property without consent and placed on leave following the accusation.

Earlier this week, a group of House Republicans called for Brinton to step down over the initial allegations.

R​ep. ​Andrew Clyde of Georgia and 15 other Republicans sent a letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Tuesday calling for their removal from the department.

“We demand the resignation of Sam Brinton, and we implore you to set aside petty politics and appoint only the most qualified and dedicated individuals to influence America’s energy sector​,” the GOP lawmakers wrote.

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