FIRST ON FOX: Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., the chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), is demanding answers from the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) about its handling of a top nuclear official charged with theft.
Banks penned a letter Friday to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, listing a series of questions about the employment status of Samuel Brinton, who has served as the DOE's deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposition since June. Brinton, who identifies as non-binary, was charged in late October with theft after allegedly stealing a $2,325 suitcase at the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport.
"The reported details of Sam Brinton’s thievery are bizarre and disturbing," Banks told Fox News Digital in a statement. "Americans deserve transparency about who and what their taxpayer dollars are funding."
The RSC chairman then listed a series of questions that he requested Granholm respond to by Dec. 7.
Banks asked when the DOE was made aware of the incident, whether Brinton is still being paid by the agency and how much taxpayer money Brinton has received since the alleged theft.
"Not only was Brinton caught on surveillance camera stealing the woman’s luggage, but he also reportedly lied to law enforcement on multiple occasions when questioned about the incident," Banks wrote to Granholm. "Given his appointment to a senior post at the Department of Energy, this is very alarming."
Earlier this week, when asked whether Brinton remains on the DOE payroll, the agency reiterated to Fox News Digital that Brinton was placed on leave after the incident. But the agency has refused to say whether it is still paying Brinton despite the theft charges and whether Brinton was placed on leave specifically as a result of the incident.
"Sam Brinton is on leave from DOE, and Dr. Kim Petry is performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition," a DOE spokesperson told Fox News Digital in a statement.... (Read more)
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