Sam Brinton will undergo a mental health evaluation


April 19, 2023 | 9:20 in the morning

Sam Brinton, the disgraced former Biden administration official accused of stealing luggage at least twice, has agreed to undergo a mental health evaluation as part of an adult diversion program in Minnesota.

Brinton, who is non-binary and uses the pronouns they/they, appeared remotely Monday at a hearing in Hennepin County District Court stemming from a luggage theft incident that occurred in September at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

In addition to having to undergo a mental health evaluation, Brinton will have to write a letter of apology to the victim, return all stolen items and perform three days of community service, local news station Fox9 reported.

Adult diversion programs target non-violent first-time offenders. Those who meet the program’s expectations may eventually see their case dismissed.

Had Brinton’s case in Minnesota gone to trial and resulted in a conviction on a charge of felony theft of movable property without consent, they could have faced up to five years in prison.

Former Biden administration official Sam Brinton, who is non-binary, has agreed to undergo a mental health evaluation and enter an adult diversion program to resolve a baggage theft case in Minnesota.
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Hennepin County prosecutors say Brinton was caught on surveillance video on the afternoon of Sept. 16 pulling another passenger’s dark blue Vera Bradley suitcase off the baggage carousel and removing the owner’s ID tag from the luggage before walking away with the loot.

Cops tracked Brinton to the InterContinental St. Paul Riverfront Hotel and confronted them, asking if Brinton had taken anything that didn’t belong to them. The Biden administration official was quoted as telling police, “I don’t know.”

But two hours after that initial conversation, Brinton called the police and apologized for not being “completely honest.”

In a separate Las Vegas case, Brinton, 35, pleaded no contest last week to stealing a passenger’s suitcase in July, as seen on surveillance video.
In the Las Vegas case, Brinton received a 180-day suspended sentence and was ordered to pay restitution.

Brinton eventually admitted taking the suitcase, but claimed it was an accident and said they were ready to return it, along with its contents, valued at $2,325.

Last week, Brinton pleaded no contest to stealing another woman’s suitcase at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas in July 2022.

In that case, the former Department of Energy employee was also spared jail time after receiving a 180-day suspended sentence. As part of the plea agreement, Brinton’s felony charge was downgraded to a misdemeanor.

Brinton was fired from his job as deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste at the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy.
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A Nevada judge also ordered Brinton to pay $3,670.74 in restitution to the victim for the luggage, which contained $1,700 worth of jewelry, $800 worth of clothing and makeup valued at $500.

As a result of the baggage heists, Brinton was fired from his job as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Spent Fuel and Waste Disposal at the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy.

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