I wish I could say “I told you so,” but I didn’t, exactly. The last time Ethics Alarms discussed Sam Brinton, Energy Department’s chief of nuclear waste disposal, it was in an Ethics Quiz that asked, “Is it competent and responsible for someone like Sam to hold an executive position of trust in a Cabinet Department?” To this I added,
“Within this quiz are several other questions, like “Should an individual representing the administration, the Energy Department and the U.S. government be publicizing his kinky ways?” and “Is the judgment of an official who behaves in pubic like Sam inherently questionable?” and “Is there a Simulated Sex with Puppies Deputy Assistant Secretary Principle?”
Yes, one of Sam’s passions is simulated sex with puppies. But he’s just pretending.
I said I would reveal my answers after the commentariat weighed in, but I never did. Now comes the news that Brinton, who was hired by the administration in February, was filmed allegedly stealing a woman’s roller bag at the airport’s baggage claim area by security cameras on Sept. 16, according to a criminal complaint filed on Oct. 27. Security footage also showed Brinton taking the woman’s luggage from the baggage carousel and then removing the tags before leaving the scene at a “quick pace,” according to the complaint. Brinton initially told police that be grabbed the bag and no clothes or objects had been removed. Later he changed his story. The contents of the bag, valued at $2000, have not been found.
That didn’t take long, did it? I’m ready to give my answers to those questions above now, and they haven’t changed since September: no, no, yes, and yes.
The Biden administration has placed pandering to various Democratic constituencies above the public interest and doing its job, and this is one of the more flagrant examples ( Karine Jean-Pierre is another.) Brinton’s private life and sexual fetishes don’t mean that he isn’t intelligent or qualified for his job. His obsession with flaunting his non-conforming ways, however, to the likely detriment of public trust, does suggest a lack of professionalism, excessive narcissism, and quite possibly mental illness. Let’s put it this way: if I have an important job to fill and two candidates of relatively equal skills and experience, I will choose the individual who does not go out of his way to be seen like this…
Is that unfair? No, that’s responsible management. There is good reason to question the judgment of a job candidate who publicizes his proclivities to, among other kinks, engage in “pup-play”and other forms of animal role-playing and sexual fetishes such as tying up a sexual partner and eating a meal on him while watching “Star Trek.” There is good reason to doubt such an individual’s seriousness and trustworthiness.
Brinton wasn’t necessarily going to do something government employees must never do, but nobody should be surprised that he did.
The Energy Department says Brinton is on leave and is not currently performing any duties. Meanwhile, I can’t find any mainstream news source that isn’t conservative in its tilt like Fox or the New York Post reporting this story. Since Sam is “nonbinary” and “genderfluid, with his pronouns being “they and them,” Reporting the news in Sam’s case would just be homophobic, or transphobic, or something. Simulated sex with men dressed as dogs phobic, maybe.