- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 1, 2022

The senior Republican on the Senate Energy Committee wants Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to fire Sam Brinton, the nuclear energy official who faces felony charges after being accused of stealing luggage at a Minneapolis airport.

Video surveillance on Sept. 16 showed Brinton, who’s known as the “first gender-fluid person in the federal government,” taking a woman’s hard-sided Vera Bradley roller suitcase from the airport’s baggage claim area.

Brinton claimed not to know about the bag but later claimed to have taken the bag by mistake only to realize later that it belonged to someone else.

“It is in the interest of both the Department’s mission and our national security that the Deputy Assistant Secretary’s clearance be immediately revoked,” Mr. Barrasso wrote to Ms. Granholm in reference to Brinton. “Additionally, the Department should undertake all necessary steps to terminate their employment immediately.”

An Energy Department spokesman previously said Brinton is on leave pending a Dec. 19 hearing in Hennepin County, Minnesota, on felony theft charges.

Brinton was hired to serve as deputy assistant secretary of spent fuel and waste disposition in the Energy Department’s office of nuclear energy and started the job this summer amid a furor over a history of social media posts displaying sexual fetishes.

Brinton began working at the agency on June 19, posting an in-office photo on Twitter wearing a red jumpsuit, bright lipstick and stiletto pumps decorated with the Stars and Stripes.

At the moment, Kim Petry is performing the duties of deputy assistant secretary of spent fuel and waste disposition.

• Jeff Mordock contributed to this report.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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