Nonbinary Biden official Sam Brinton accused of grand larceny amid separate theft charges
The nonbinary Biden administration official who oversees nuclear waste policy was charged with grand larceny in Nevada, the second time they have been accused of theft in three months, according to state court records.
Samuel Brinton, the Department of Energy's (DOE) deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposition, was charged Thursday with grand larceny of an item valued between $1,200 and $5,000 by Las Vegas prosecutors. Records showed that an arrest warrant was issued for Brinton, one of the few federal officials to ever identify as nonbinary.
Few other details were provided in the records and the Clark County, Nevada, district attorney's office declined to comment on the matter.
Brinton is scheduled to appear at a court hearing in Minnesota state court later this month to face similar charges from a September incident at the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport (MSP). Police accused Brinton with stealing a suitcase worth $2,325 from an MSP baggage carousel Sept. 16, according to a criminal complaint filed Oct. 26.
After a woman complained that her Vera Bradley bag was missing on Sept. 16, MSP police reviewed security camera footage and observed Brinton taking the luggage before removing its tag and hurrying away. Brinton was then observed using the same bag on two subsequent trips to Washington, D.C., and acknowledged taking the bag in an interview with police but blamed tiredness.
Shortly after Brinton was charged, the DOE quietly placed Brinton on leave but did offer any explanation. The agency confirmed Brinton was on leave after the charges were first reported in late November.
'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 previously told Fox News Digital.
The DOE, though, has refused to explain why Brinton is on leave or say whether Brinton remains on the agency's taxpayer-funded payroll.
Republican lawmakers expressed concern following the incident, arguing that Americans deserved more information about whether Brinton continues to receive government paychecks and if the DOE has revoked Brinton's security clearance.
'The reported details of Sam Brinton’s thievery are bizarre and disturbing,' Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, told Fox News Digital in a statement after sending a letter Dec. 2 to DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm demanding more information. 'Americans deserve transparency about who and what their taxpayer dollars are funding.'
Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference and ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, also wrote to Granholm, urging her to fire Brinton immediately.
In June, Brinton made headlines after being appointed to the position that oversees nuclear waste policy at the DOE's Office of Nuclear Energy as a nonbinary gender-fluid person. Brinton has also posted about being a member of the so-called Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a drag queen group.
Local media outlet 8 News Now first reported the Las Vegas charges against Brinton Thursday. According to the outlet, Brinton allegedly stole luggage belonging to another traveler at the Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas in an incident similar to what Brinton is accused of in Minnesota.
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