Sam Brinton, a senior Energy Department (DOE) officialIt was charged with stealing a traveler’s luggage Minneapolis airport In September, just before taking a quiet leave of absence.

Brinton — who serves as the DOE’s deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposition — allegedly took a Vera Bradley suitcase worth $2,325 from the luggage Carousel at According to a criminal case filed in Minnesota state court on October 26th and obtained by Fox News Digital, the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport (MSP), was used on September 16, according to Fox News Digital. Brinton had traveled that day from Washington, DC, and to MSP.

After the suitcase’s owner alerted police, officers reviewed video surveillance of the carousel and identified Brinton taking the luggage According to court filings, before the owner’s tag was removed, Brinton used the device. Brinton was seen using the luggage during at At least two additional trips to Washington, D.C. on Sept. 18 or Oct. 9.

Then, on Oct. 9, Brinton denied stealing Anything when a police officer called to discuss it. Brinton confirmed that the suitcase was still in his possession.

“If I had taken the wrong bag, I am happy to return it, but I don’t have any clothes for another individual,” Brinton said this to the officer. “That was my clothes when I opened the bag.”

Brinton called back the officer two hours later and apologized for his inability to reach him. “completely honest.” Brinton claimed it was a mistake, and blamed his tiredness for choosing the wrong bag. at The carousel

Sam Brinton, a senior Energy Department officialIt was charged with stealing a traveler’s luggage.
Department of Energy

“DEFENDANT said when they opened the bag at the hotel, they realized it was not theirs,” According to court filings. “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.”

Brinton was finally charged with Felony theft of a moving property without consent is a charge that can lead to a five-year sentence or a $10,000 fine.

Alpha News, a Minnesota-based outlet, reported the first news about Brinton’s charges on Monday.

Brinton was put on leave approximately a month ago. official According to the Exchange Monitor, which tracks government hirings, Brinton was named as the interim replacement earlier this month. The DOE originally didn’t explain why Brinton took leave at It is now

“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,” Fox News Digital was informed by a spokesperson for the DOE in a statement.

In June, Brinton made headlines after assuming the position in the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy as one of the government’s first-ever non-binary officials.

“There’s been a lot of people who are quite upset that don’t think that I am quite as qualified as others,” Brinton told E&E News in October. “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’s lawyer didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.