Ex-Biden Administration Official to Undergo Mental Health Evaluation

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

At a hearing in Hennepin County Court on Monday, nonbinary defendant Brinton—who uses they/them pronouns—appeared virtually in relation to a luggage theft incident that happened in September at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

According to the local news station Fox9, Brinton will also be ordered to submit to a mental health evaluation, write a letter of apology to the victim, return any stolen property, and do three days of community service.

Adult diversion programs are aimed at first-time, nonviolent offenders. Those who meet program expectations could potentially see their case dismissed.

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

Prosecutors in Hennepin County claimed that on the afternoon of September 16, Brinton was seen on surveillance footage lifting another traveler’s navy blue Vera Bradley suitcase from the baggage carousel and taking off the owner’s ID tag before leaving with their haul.

Cops pursued Brinton to the InterContinental St. Paul Riverfront Hotel where they confronted them and questioned them about if Brinton had taken anything that wasn’t rightfully theirs. According to a police report, the Biden administration official said, “Not that I know of.”

After that initial conversation, though, Brinton called the police and apologized for not being “completely honest.”

Brinton eventually acknowledged taking the suitcase but stated it was an accident and offered to return it along with its $2,325 worth of goods.

Brinton admitted this Monday that she had stolen a different woman’s suitcase from the Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas in July 2022 but pleaded not guilty.

In that case, the former Department of Energy official received a 180-day suspended sentence in lieu of jail time. The felony charge against Brinton was reduced to a misdemeanor as part of the plea agreement.

Additionally, a Nevada judge mandated Brinton to pay the victim $3,670.74 in compensation for the luggage’s contents, which included $500 in makeup, $800 in clothing, and $1,700 in jewels.

Brinton has lost their position as the deputy assistant secretary for the disposition of spent fuel and waste in the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy as a result of the consecutive suitcase thefts.




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