Groundbreaking gender–fluid Energy Department official charged with stealing luggage at airport

The content of the luggage is worth roughly $2,325, according to a criminal complaint.

Updated: November 29, 2022 - 10:25am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

An Energy Department official and gender-fluid LGBT+ activist has been charged with the theft of a suitcase from a Minnesota airport in September.

The official, Sam Brinton, serves in the department's Nuclear Energy Office as deputy assistant secretary of spent fuel and waste disposition.

Brinton is thought to be the first openly gender-fluid person in federal government leadership.

The state of Minnesota filed a criminal complaint Sunday against Brinton, court documents show.

According to the complaint, Brinton is accused of stealing the luggage bag Sept. 16 from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s baggage claim area. 

Brinton alleged took a hardshell Vera Bradley suitcase. The woman who reported the bag missing and identified it as hers in multiple surveillance videos said the total value of items inside was roughly $2,325, according to the complaint.

Brinton, his attorney and the department have yet to comment on the complaint

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Dec. 19.

Surveillance video shows Brinton taking the bag and removing its tag, according to the court filing obtained by Fox News.

In addition, police said they observed Brinton using the suitcase during multiple other trips to Washington, D.C., including one on Sept. 18 and another on Oct. 9. 

Brinton initially denied having taken the bag, then called back airport police to say it was mistakenly taken and would be returned.

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