The Select Committee charged with recommending what to do about the conduct of North Las Vegas Assemblyman Steven Brooks Monday adopted rules for conducting the investigation that include giving the chairman powers to exclude Brooks from serving at least temporarily.
The rules read into the record by legislative counsel, include allowing chairman Assemblyman William Horne, D-Las Vegas, to put the member being investigated on leave and to order that he be prevented from coming into the legislative building.
Horne took no such action Monday. He adjourned the meeting after just eight minutes.
Brooks put more urgency into the select committee's work over the weekend when he was arrested in the wee hours Sunday on charges of misdemeanor battery against his estranged wife and obstructing an officer.
Those charges could net Brooks up to 2 years in prison. But he was released on $4,000 bail several hours after the incident.
The Attorney General's office is handling the original charges that Brooks threatened the life of Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick. He is out of jail on $100,000 bond in that case.
But the police report alleges that Brooks claimed during the wrestling match that preceded his arrest that he had the officer's gun. He was subdued by two officers and taken into custody.
Those charges are within the control of the Clark County District Attorney's office, not the attorney general or the Legislature itself. No decision on whether those charges will be prosecuted has been announced.
The Select Committee, however, doesn't need to wait for authorities in Southern Nevada to act. Under the Nevada Constitution, the Assembly can, by a two-thirds vote, expel him if they believe that drastic action is necessary. It has never been done in state history.
The Assembly could also vote on lesser penalties including granting him an extended medical leave of absence while he receives treatment.
The Select Committee of four Democrats and three Republicans was empanelled to investigate the situation and make recommendations to the full Assembly.
Horne has indicated that he intends to get that job done quickly.
"I don't want this to drone on for weeks and weeks," he said in the press conference announcing the Select Committee. "We are looking forward to getting the work done we were meant to do up here. This is taking away from that."
The committee's recommendations, Horne said, could range all the way from no action to expulsion.
Article Topics: LegislatureLegislature