Sam Brinton, the embattled nonbinary former Biden administration official, ended 2023 free despite facing multiple charges related to alleged airport baggage thefts in multiple states.
Brinton made headlines in mid-2022 after being appointed to lead nuclear waste policy at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy as a nonbinary gender-fluid person.
Brinton avoided jail in two criminal cases, while a third criminal case and a related lawsuit remain ongoing. In December 2022, the DOE announced Brinton had departed the agency but declined to comment on the reason.
“When people are appointed to critical positions with important national security responsibilities, Americans must be confident they can be trusted,” Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., chairman of the Senate Republican Conference and ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, told Fox News Digital at the time.
“The department must launch a thorough investigation into the vetting process,” he added. “They have to respond to legitimate oversight inquiries. It’s in our national security interest.”
However, the DOE has repeatedly failed to share additional information about Brinton’s apparent firing, and it is unclear if the agency has conducted any internal inquiry into the matter over the last 12 months.
In October 2022, police charged Brinton with stealing a traveler’s baggage worth a total of $2,325 from the luggage carousel at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport after flying in from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C., Sept. 16 of that year.
And in early December 2022, Las Vegas prosecutors charged Brinton with grand larceny of an item valued between $1,200 and $5,000. Police accused Brinton of stealing a suitcase with a total estimated worth of $3,670 July 6, 2022, at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas. The bag contained jewelry valued at $1,700, clothing worth $850 and makeup valued at $500.
Brinton was on an official taxpayer-funded trip to the Nevada National Security Site in Las Vegas at the time of the alleged Las Vegas theft.
Then, in February 2023, following reports of those two cases, a female Tanzanian fashion designer based in Houston told Fox News Digital that some articles of clothing Brinton had been photographed wearing were in her luggage that she reported missing in Washington, D.C., in 2018.
“I saw the images. Those were my custom designs, which were lost in that bag in 2018,” she told Fox News Digital in an interview. “He wore my clothes, which was stolen.”
Months later, in May, Brinton was arrested by Maryland and Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police officers related to Khamsin’s allegations. Khamsin’s lawyer later confirmed to Fox News Digital that police who executed a search warrant at Brinton’s home discovered Khamsin’s missing clothes and returned them to the designer.
Proceedings in that case have been delayed multiple times, and the next hearing is scheduled for March 2024, according to court filings reviewed by Fox News Digital. Khamsin also filed a lawsuit against Brinton.
Brinton was able to escape jail time from the charges filed in both Minneapolis and Las Vegas.
In April, Brinton agreed to enter an adult diversion program during a remote Hennepin County, Minnesota, hearing. Under the adult diversion program, Brinton will be required to have a mental health evaluation, write a letter of apology to the victim, return any stolen property and complete three days of community service.
That same month, Brinton was ordered to pay $3,671 to a victim and $500 in additional fees, including a criminal fine, in the alleged Las Vegas theft. Clark County Judge Ann Zimmerman then handed Brinton a 180-day suspended jail sentence, a sentence that doesn’t need to be served, and ordered Brinton to “stay out of trouble.”