Nuclear energy official Sam Brinton was terminated by the Department of Energy on Monday, Dec. 12.
Brinton was let go by the DoE after Las Vegas police issued a felony warrant on grand larceny charges on Dec 8 for the theft of a suitcase from a Vegas airport in July.
Brinton faced similar charges for stealing a designer suitcase from an airport in Minneapolis, Minnesota in September.
“Sam Brinton is no longer a DOE employee. By law, the Department of Energy cannot comment further on personnel matters,” said a DoE spokesperson on Monday.
Brinton, 35, was a deputy assistant secretary of the office of spent fuel and waste disposition. He was placed on leave of absence after being accused of stealing luggage from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on September 16.
The victim is described in the complaint as “a known adult female” — a celebrity or public figure — who was traveling from New Orleans with her son.
Police say Brinton traveled to Minneapolis without luggage and was seen on surveillance video stealing a blue hard shell Vera Bradley rolling suitcase from baggage claim at MSP Airport. The suitcase and its contents were worth $2325.
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According to 8 News Now, a felony arrest warrant was issued for Brinton in Las Vegas on Dec. 8 for a similar theft of a hard shell rolling suitcase from Harry Reid International Airport on July 6.
Brinton is seen in surveillance video pushing 2 hard shell rolling suitcases at Reid Airport. It isn’t clear if he stole both pieces of luggage.
Las Vegas Airport police were initially unable to identify the person seen stealing the victim’s luggage in July. A detective remembered the person in the surveillance video and recognized Brinton from a news story about Brinton’s Minneapolis arrest in November.
The detective found Brinton’s Instagram page with a post dated July 6, the same day of the theft, according to police. Brinton was wearing the same t-shirt as the one worn by the luggage thief in the surveillance video.
Brinton was charged with grand larceny with a value between $1,200 and $5,000.
The woman who owned the luggage had traveled from Dulles International Airport to Reid airport in Las Vegas on July 6. She told police her luggage was missing from baggage claim.
The bag – an “Away” brand “Bigger Carry-On” model is valued at $320. The contents, including $1,700 worth of jewelry, was valued at $3,670.
Brinton’s mom, Peggy Jo, told The New York Post on Friday that she hasn’t spoken to her son because Brinton is screening his phone calls.
“I have not spoken to him directly, but my daughter has spoken to him though,” she said. “We’re trying to communicate as little as possible because he’s screening calls and all.”
She added, “Mostly, I am just praying for him. My heart is saddened for him right now that he’s dealing with so much. He’s my son. I absolutely love him and support him.”