OAN Geraldyn Berry
UPDATED 12:30 PM – Friday, April 14, 2023
Disgraced former senior Department of Energy (DOE) official Sam Brinton escaped prison time earlier this week, regarding the grand larceny case that dated back to July of last year.
Brinton was sentenced to pay $3,670.74 to the victim and $500 in extra fees, including a criminal fine, according to criminal court records in Clark County, Nevada.
Brinton was subsequently given a 180-day suspended jail sentence by Clark County Judge Ann Zimmerman, a punishment that does not have to be served, and was instructed to “stay out of trouble.”
As part of the plea deal, Brinton was charged with a misdemeanor instead of a felony.
Brinton was also found guilty of theft of an item worth less than $1,200. The former official had already pled “no contest” to the charges, foregoing the chance of a trial.
Prosecutors in Las Vegas charged Brinton with grand larceny of an item valued between $1,200 and $5,000 in early December.
Brinton was accused of taking a suitcase worth $3,670 on July 6th at Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport. The luggage had jewelry worth $1,700, clothing worth $850, and makeup worth $500. The woman had said that she could not locate a piece of her luggage that she had checked with United Airlines and so she filed a police report four days later.
After watching surveillance footage, a Las Vegas Metropolitan police officer “observed several nonverbal cues, or body language anomalies, from the suspect, which caught his attention,” the warrant said.
“Specifically, Brinton pulled the victim’s luggage from the carousel and examined the tag. Then placed it back on the carousel, looking in all directions for anyone who might be watching or might approach. Pulling it back off the carousel and demonstrating the same behavior by looking around before walking away with it quickly,” the warrant said.
Brinton was observed using the luggage on at least two more occasions and has confessed to taking it to detectives, but he still insisted that it was an error and that the items could be returned with its contents.
According to the Office of Nuclear Energy’s website, the 35-year-old was a deputy assistant secretary of spent fuel and waste disposition.
On December 12th, The Department of Energy (DOE) announced that Brinton had departed the agency but would not comment on the reason for the departure after the charges in Minnesota and Nevada.
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