According to a criminal complaint filed on Oct. 26 in Minnesota state court, Brinton while traveling from Washington DC allegedly stole a $2,325 Vera Bradley suitcase from a luggage carousel at the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport on Sept. 16.
Court documents obtained by Alpha News said that the owner of the suitcase contacted police, who reviewed video surveillance and identified Brinton taking the luggage after removing its tag identifying the owner. Brinton was observed by law enforcement using the luggage on at least two other trips to Washington, D.C., on September 18 and October 9.
When a police officer called to discuss the incident on Oct. 9, Brinton denied stealing anything but confirmed still possessing the suitcase.
Brinton told the officer, "If I had taken the wrong bag, I am happy to return it, but I don’t have any clothes for another individual. That was my clothes when I opened the bag."
Two hours later, Brinton called back the officer and apologized for not being "completely honest," claimed it was a mistake and blamed exhaustion for taking the wrong bag.
According to court filings, "DEFENDANT said when they opened the bag at the hotel, they realized it was not theirs. DEFENDANT got nervous people would think they stole the bag and did not know what to do. DEFENDANT stated they left the clothes from the bag inside the drawers in the hotel room."
Brinton has been charged with felony theft of a movable property without consent, which could result in a $10,000 fine, a five-year sentence, or both.
Brinton was placed on leave shortly after the incident and Dr. Kim Petry was named as a replacement in the interim earlier this month but at the time the DOE did not explain why Brinton took the leave.
At the time, Petry told coworkers she had been asked to stay on as head of the spent fuel office 'for the foreseeable future' by Kathryn Huff, assistant secretary for nuclear energy. Petry wrote in the email obtained by the Exchange Monitor,”I should have another update for all of you in a month or so.”
In June, Brinton was touted as one of the government's first-ever non-binary officials. Brinton, an MIT graduate who specializes in nuclear power and energy, is also an LGBTQ activist and has shared photos online wearing American flag heels and a dress while standing over three people role-playing as dogs.
Brinton also performs as 'Sister Ray Dee O'Active' in a non-profit group of drag queens who dress up as nuns to raise awareness of sexual intolerance and transphobia called the Order of Perpetual Indulgence.
In July it was revealed that Brinton defended a controversial gay prostitution website that allowed the advertising of children for sexual services.
Brinton told E&E News in October, "There’s been a lot of people who are quite upset that don’t think that I am quite as qualified as others. I respond with multiple graduate degrees from MIT, a decade of working in nuclear policy and the strongest enthusiasm for working in nuclear waste out of anybody."
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