Former Biden official Sam Brinton’s mug shot released after bail set at $15,000
The former Biden administration nuclear official facing significant prison time for allegedly stealing luggage in two airports was arrested in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
Samuel Brinton, who was appointed to serve as the deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposition at the Department of Energy (DOE) in June, appeared at a court hearing in Clark County, Nevada, where prosecutors and Brinton's legal team agreed on bail in the case being set at $15,000. Also on Wednesday, Brinton was booked by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) on an outstanding arrest warrant and released on bond, according to court records.
Brinton was ordered during the court hearing to 'stay out of trouble' as a bail condition, court records showed.
The LVMPD released a booking photo after Brinton was processed at the Clark County Detention Center on Wednesday.
Last week, Brinton was charged with grand larceny in connection with the theft of a bag worth $3,670 at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas in July. Police alleged in the arrest warrant also issued last week that Brinton intentionally stole a suitcase containing $1,700 worth of jewelry, clothing worth $850 and makeup valued at $500 from the airport's baggage carousel after traveling from Washington, D.C., to Las Vegas.
Because of the high monetary value of the bag, Brinton is facing up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Las Vegas detectives originally closed the case after they were unable to identify the suspect. However, they reopened it following news reports in November that Brinton had been charged in a similar case in Minnesota.
On Oct. 26, Minnesota prosecutors charged Brinton with stealing a suitcase worth $2,325 from a Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport baggage carousel in September. Brinton faces up to five years in prison for that crime and is set to appear in Minneapolis court on Monday.
The DOE, meanwhile, announced Monday that Brinton had departed the agency, but wouldn't comment on the reason for the departure. A spokesperson for the DOE said the agency wasn't allowed to comment on personnel matters.
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., the ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, told Fox News Digital on Wednesday that he was renewing calls for the DOE and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to review the department's security clearance and vetting process in light of the criminal charges against Brinton.
'It is clear as day that felons should not hold security clearances,' Barrasso told Fox News Digital. 'For months, I’ve been demanding answers from the Department of Energy on their failed security clearance process. Secretary Granholm has provided none.'
'When people are appointed to critical positions with important national security responsibilities, Americans must be confident they can be trusted,' he said. 'The department must launch a thorough investigation into the vetting process. They have to respond to legitimate oversight inquiries. It’s in our national security interest.'
Brinton initially made headlines over the summer for being one of the first-ever federal officials to identify as nonbinary. Brinton previously posted about being a member of the so-called Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a drag queen group.
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