When President Joe Biden picked a non-binary drag queen to run the Department of Energy, he thought he had a professional on his hands. Now, Sam Brinton has been arrested and charged with stealing a bag from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and using it for a month because he “was tired.” If Brinton gets convicted of the felony theft charge, they could spend up to five years in jail as well as being forced to pay a $10,000 fine.
Brinton was accused of illegally taking the bag from the airport baggage carousel back in September. They are currently on leave from their Department of Energy job. Brinton’s title at the DOE was Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition. Brinton first appeared in the headlines earlier this year when he announced that he had earned his way into a government job at the Department of Energy. He shared a LinkedIn update breaking the news. News outlets picked up the story because Brinton moonlights as a drag queen when he is not working with nuclear waste.
According to the official statement of probable cause, “On September 16, 2022, law enforcement at the Minneapolis St. Paul (MSP) Airport, which is located in Hennepin County, Minnesota, were alerted to a missing suitcase in the baggage claim area. The victim, a known adult female, stated she and her son flew into MSP on a Delta flight from New Orleans. The victim proceeded to baggage Carousel Seven to claim her checked bag, which is a navy blue-sided Vera Bradley 26-inch roller bag. The bag was scanned as arriving at 16:40 hours at the MSP Airport but was missing from the carousel.”
The statement continued, “Law enforcement obtained the video surveillance for Carousel 7. At 16:45 hours, officers observed the suspect, who was later identified as Samuel Otis Brinton, Defendant, herein, removed a navy blue hard-sided roller bag from the rear of Carousel 7. Defendant removed the blue bag’s tag and put the bag tag in the handbag they were carrying. Defendant then left the area at a quick pace. Police took a digital photo of the bag removed by Defendant and showed it to the victim who confirmed it was her bag.”
Brinton fled the airport via a rideshare ride. “Records from American Airlines confirmed that Defendant did not check a bag when defendant departed Washington, D.C. to MSP Airport.”
Brinton made history as the first non-binary person to accept a position in federal government leadership. However, he has not been at work for at least a month because of this investigation into his felony behavior. Currently, Kim Petry is standing in as the acting deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel in the Department of Energy.
When police tracked down Brinton, he denied stealing the bag.
“If I had taken the wrong bag, I am happy to return it, but I don’t have clothes for another individual,” Brinton told police, according to the complaint. “That was my clothes when I opened the bag.”
However, he had a change of heart and called the airport police about how he had not been “completely honest” and “admitted to taking the blue bag.”