LGBTQ+ activist Sam Brinton has left the post of deputy secretary assistant at the US Department of Energy (DOE) after being charged with stealing women’s suitcases at two airports. One of the pieces of luggage contained a total of $3,670 worth of items, including jewelry worth $1,700, according to police documents, cited by Fox News.
“Sam Brinton is no longer a DOE employee,” a department spokesperson said in a statement to the media on Tuesday. “By law, the Department of Energy cannot comment further on personnel matters.” Brinton had previously been placed on administrative leave.
Brinton, who uses ‘they/them’ pronouns and has been described as the first openly genderfluid person to hold such a high government position, was charged with stealing a woman’s Vera Bradley suitcase from a baggage carousel at Minnesota’s Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. The alleged crime took place in September.
The former official initially denied taking someone else’s suitcase, but later claimed to have grabbed the item by mistake due to being “tired,” according to court documents cited by the media.
Las Vegas police issued an arrest warrant for Brinton this month related to a separate incident at the city’s Harry Reid International Airport. According to the warrant, security camera footage helped to identify the former official as the person who stole luggage in July.
A trained nuclear engineer, LGBTQ+ activist and drag performer, Brinton was appointed to the DOE in January, and, according to the department’s website, oversaw the research and programs related to the disposition of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste.
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