The Biden administration refused to say whether a top official overseeing nuclear waste policy continues receiving government pay after being charged with theft.
While the Department of Energy (DOE) has confirmed that Samuel Brinton, who was named deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposition over the summer, was placed on leave, the agency has yet to say whether Brinton is still on its payroll. In October, Brinton was charged with stealing a suitcase worth $2,325 from a baggage carousel at the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport.
“Sam Brinton is on leave from DOE, and Dr. Kim Petry is performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition,” a DOE spokesperson told Fox News Digital in a statement earlier this week.
Brinton, who is also one of the federal government’s first-ever officials to identify as non-binary, allegedly took the luggage after traveling from Washington, D.C., on Sept. 16, according to a criminal complaint filed on Oct. 26 in Minnesota state court. Security camera footage of the incident reviewed by law enforcement showed Brinton taking the bag from carousel before removing its tag and hurrying away.
Weeks after the incident, Brinton confirmed having the bag when a police officer called to discuss the matter. However, the DOE official denied any wrongdoing.
“If I had taken the wrong bag, I am happy to return it, but I don’t have any clothes for another individual,” Brinton told the officer. “That was my clothes when I opened the bag.”
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