Sam Brinton, the deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposition at the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy, has been charged with grand larceny for allegedly stealing luggage from travelers at airports in both Minneapolis and Las Vegas.
Brinton, who is one of the first gender-fluid officials in the federal government and uses they/them pronouns, has been charged with grand larceny with a value between $1,200 and $5,000, 8 News Now reported. This is the second time that Brinton has gotten in hot water over alleged luggage theft.
Court documents reveal that Brinton was charged with felony theft in September after they allegedly stole a woman’s Vera Bradley suitcase from baggage claim at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. The suitcase and its contents were valued at $2,325.
Brinton initially denied taking the luggage but later claimed that they mistook it for their own bag, despite never having checked a bag for the flight.
Brinton was placed on leave from the Department of Energy following the charges.
Video surveillance reportedly shows Brinton removing the suitcase’s ID tag after taking it from the luggage carousel. Brinton was later seen using the stolen suitcase on at least two occasions, while traveling to Washington, DC, on September 18 and October 9.
A group of House Republicans has called for Brinton to resign from the Department of Energy over the allegations. Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) and 15 other Republicans sent a letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Tuesday demanding his removal.
“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 ,” they wrote.