2013 Legislature: Assemblyman Steven Brooks taking 3-week leave
February 8, 2013
A panel of seven Assembly members – four Democrats and three Republicans – was named Thursday to investigate the conduct of North Las Vegas Democrat Steven Brooks.
Moments after the announcement of the panel, Brooks announced on the floor of the Assembly that he intended to take three weeks off.
Majority Leader William Horne, D-Las Vegas, said the panel will move quickly to produce recommendations on what to do about what some have described as bizarre conduct by Brooks over the past couple of months.
“I anticipate us to work fairly quickly,” said Horne, the panel’s chairman. “I don’t want this to drone on for weeks and weeks. We are looking forward to getting the work done we were meant to do up here. This is taking away from that.”
The recommendation, Horne said, could range “all the way from no action to be taken all the way up to expulsion.”
The panel also includes Democrats Jason Frierson and Richard Carrillo of Las Vegas and Dina Neal of North Las Vegas, along with Republicans Wesley Duncan and Lynn Stewart of Las Vegas, along with Minority Leader Pat Hickey of Reno.
Brooks has been involved in a number of recent incidents that came to light when he was accused of threatening Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas. He later was hospitalized with an intestinal problem. After his release, family members and friends expressed concern about his mental state.
Most recently, he was ordered put in an involuntary commitment for psychological evaluation after an incident at his grandmother’s house involving a sword.
Horne said, however, the criminal case stemming from those alleged threats won’t be part of the committee’s deliberations.
“This has nothing to do with Mr. Brooks’ criminal charges,” he said. “That’s a whole separate issue Mr. Brooks will deal with on his own.”
He said the arrest isn’t the reason for the special committee, “nor is the goal of this committee to expel Mr. Brooks.”
Brooks last Sunday asked leadership for a medical leave of absence but, after that document was drafted, refused to sign it saying he was fine and ready to assume his legislative responsibilities. Since then, however, he has missed most of the committee meetings he is supposed to attend.
He has insisted on being accompanied by Legislative Police as he moves through the building – mostly to keep the press away from him.
On Thursday, he indicated he would be willing to talk with certain members of the press but, when they appeared at his office, his secretary said Brooks would not be making a statement.
Wednesday evening, the Assembly Democratic caucus issued a statement saying Brooks had been kicked out of that group. Horne said Brooks doesn’t belong in the caucus, which he said “allows us to have private conversations on work we want to do.”
He said the consensus was that having Brooks there was not appropriate.
Formal charges have not yet been filed in the criminal case, which is being handled by the attorney general’s office.
Brooks has denied wrongdoing.