Sam Brinton, DOE's deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposition (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
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One of the government's first non-binary officials has been charged with stealing a woman's designer suitcase from the baggage claim at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport in September, the New York Post reported.
Sam Brinton, the deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposition at the Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy, initially denied taking the Vera Bradley luggage, reportedly worth $2,325, according to court filings.
"If I had taken the wrong bag, I am happy to return it, but I don't have any clothes for another individual," Brinton initially told police officers. "That was my clothes when I opened the bag."
According to the court documents, two hours after the call with authorities, Brinton called back and confessed to not being "completely honest." The non-binary official admitted to accidentally taking the designer suitcase from the baggage claim carousel due to exhaustion.
Court filings stated that Brinton realized the luggage belonged to someone else when opening the suitcase at the hotel later that day. Brinton reportedly became "nervous people would think they stole the bag and did not know what to do."
The complaint stated that Brinton was captured on the airport's surveillance camera on September 16 taking "a navy blue hard-sided roller bag" from the baggage carousel. Brinton then "removed the blue bag's tag and put the bag tag in the handbag they were carrying" and "left the area at a quick pace," the court filings added.
Investigators reported that Brinton was also captured on camera on September 18 and October 9, traveling to Washington, D.C., with the stolen bag.
According to the criminal complaint, Brinton began working at the DOE in June but was placed on leave following the theft accusations.
Earlier this month, another official was designated as the temporary replacement, the Exchange Monitor reported.
"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 told Fox News Digital.
Brinton is being charged with felony theft of a movable property without consent and, if convicted, faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Brinton's hearing is scheduled for December 19.
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Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.