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GOP Rep. Babin calls on Sam Brinton to resign amid airport theft allegations

"Brinton's actions... reflect poorly on the Department of Energy, and they raise concern as to the Biden Administration's priorities when appointing high-ranking officials."

December 7, 2022 3:19pm

Updated: December 7, 2022 3:45pm

Texas Republican Rep. Brian Babin on Wednesday called on Department of Energy official Sam Brinton to resign as he faces felony theft charges over an incident in which he allegedly stole a suitcase and its contents from the airport.

In a letter to Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, Babin demanded Brinton's resignation in light of the charges, saying "[it] is simply not possible for an individual to represent America values and simultaneously violate the felony laws of the land."

"Brinton's actions, along with your Department's lack of transparency when dealing with this matter, reflect poorly on the Department of Energy, and they raise concern as to the Biden Administration's priorities when appointing high-ranking officials," he continued.

Brinton, an openly gender-fluid individual, serves in the department's Nuclear Energy Office as deputy assistant secretary of spent fuel and waste disposition, but has since been placed on leave.

Despite not checking a bag at the airport, surveillance footage showed him removing a hard shell Vera Bradley suitcase from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport baggage claim. A woman who has claimed ownership of the bag said the contents were worth approximately $2,325. Brinton was later seen using the suitcase on later trips to Washington, D.C.

Brinton initially denied taking the suitcase but later called the airport, claiming he took it by mistake and would return it.

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