The Department of Energy has fired a top nuclear waste official who happens to be non-binary and has been accused in a string of luggage thefts, according to reports.
“Sam Brinton is no longer a DOE employee. By law, the Department of Energy cannot comment further on personnel matters,” a spokesperson for the DOE told the Daily Beast on Monday.
The Post has reached out to the agency for comment.
The 35-year-old Biden administration deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposition at the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy was reportedly canned after being charged with stealing a woman’s suitcase from a Minneapolis airport in September and another woman’s bag from a Las Vegas airport in July.
Brinton, who was appointed to his former position in June, was caught on surveillance cameras making off with a $320 bag from Las Vegas’s Harry Reid International Airport’s baggage claim area that contained more than $3,500 worth of jewelry, clothing, and makeup, according to police.
Brinton, who uses they/them pronouns, and does not identify exclusively as either male or female, was described by a detective as “a white male adult wearing a white T-shirt with a large rainbow-colored atomic nuclear symbol design,” in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s arrest warrant.
Brinton faces felony grand larceny charges in the Las Vegas theft case and felony theft charges for the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport incident, where Brinton is accused of snatching a woman’s Vera Bradley suitcase with items inside valued at $2,325 from baggage claim.
The nuclear waste official was placed on leave from the agency following the Minneapolis theft accusation.
Last week, a group of House Republicans led by Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde called on Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to remove Brinton from the DOE.
“We demand the resignation of Sam Brinton, and we implore you to set aside petty politics and appoint only the most qualified and dedicated individuals to influence America’s energy sector,” Clyde and 15 other Republicans wrote in a letter to the secretary.
The DOE hailed Brinton in June as a “well-known advocate LGBTQ youth.”
“Sam is also a well-known advocate for LGBTQ youth and helped to secure protections against the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy in more than half of the country,” the DOE said.
Brinton faces up to five years in prison for the Minnesota theft and up to 10 years jail time for the Las Vegas heist.