In a Wednesday letter, Republican Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso pressed Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm for details about the activities of Sam Brinton, a non-binary former Department of Energy (DOE) official who has allegedly stolen women’s luggage at airports on multiple occasions.
Barrasso’s letter follows the disclosure that Brinton allegedly stole a woman’s luggage at a Las Vegas airport in July 2022 while on official DOE business. Barrasso demanded that Granholm confirm Brinton had only allegedly stolen while on official business once and answer as to why DOE did not disclose that Brinton had allegedly committed the caper while on a taxpayer-funded trip.
The letter also requested that Granholm provide the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources with a list of Brinton’s travel itineraries. Barrasso gave Granholm until Aug. 9 to respond to his letter and questions.
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“There are continuing concerns about criminality committed during Brinton’s employment at DOE,” the letter says. “Sam Brinton used taxpayer dollars to facilitate alleged theft from the very public DOE is bound to serve.”
Brinton was fired in December 2022 after allegedly stealing women’s luggage multiple times, which along with the ensuing media firestorm made his continued employment as a DOE nuclear waste specialist untenable. Brinton was charged with grand larceny for the alleged Las Vegas theft, the subject of Barrasso’s letter, and officials in Minnesota charged him with a felony for a similar alleged theft in a Minneapolis airport.
Brinton was arrested again in May for allegedly stealing a woman’s luggage in 2018 from Ronald Reagan airport in Washington, D.C.
An outspoken LGBTQ activist who asks others address him with “they/them” pronouns, Brinton was appointed to his DOE post in February 2022 and was the first “genderfluid” individual to serve in a federal leadership role. After news of his alleged thefts broke, numerous former officials questioned how an individual like Brinton could have received sensitive security clearance.
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The DOE did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
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