Nevada lawmaker facing threat charge hospitalized
January 26, 2013
LAS VEGAS — A Nevada state lawmaker who has drawn intense attention since he was accused of threatening a state Democratic Assembly leader last weekend was hospitalized Friday for a medical evaluation after a domestic disturbance, Las Vegas police said.Assemblyman Steven Brooks exhibited “erratic behavior” and was hospitalized “to prevent harm to himself or others” after officers were called after 1 p.m. to his grandmother’s house, Las Vegas said in a prepared statement.Brooks’ lawyer, Mitchell Posin, made it clear that Brooks wasn’t arrested, and said he trusted the evaluation would be “thorough and helpful.”“Everything seems to be changing,” Posin said.The development became the latest in a bizarre week since Brooks was accused last Saturday of threatening the life of incoming Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick.Posin said he wasn’t sure whether Brooks’ hospitalization meant he’ll be able to make an initial court appearance Monday on the felony threat charge.On Thursday, in his first interview since his arrest, Brooks told a Las Vegas newspaper that allegations that he threatened Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick were false. Both are Democrats from North Las Vegas.Brooks then alleged that Kirkpatrick tried to kill him, although North Las Vegas police Sgt. Tim Bedwell said no report had been filed supporting that claim.“If (Kirkpatrick) comes to kill me again, I have an armed guard,” Brooks told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “No one is going to touch me again. I’m safe.”Jenny McMenomy, Kirkpatrick’s legislative secretary, said Friday that Kirkpatrick would not comment on Brooks’ claim.In his 35-minute interview with the Review-Journal, Brooks removed his shirt and showed a reporter areas of swelling, though injuries were not readily apparent in photos taken by the reporter. Brooks earlier said he had been beaten by gang members, which Bedwell said was part of the ongoing police investigation. During the interview, Brooks reiterated his intent to serve his elected office when the state Legislature convenes. “I want fairness and justice,” he said. “We have a lot of work to do this session, and get ready because I’m coming on Feb. 4 after my court date.” Posin was also present at the interview, along with a man identified only as Darren, who said he was Brooks’ driver. Brooks and Posin did not agree to an interview with The Associated Press on Friday. Brooks, 40, is due to appear Monday in North Las Vegas Justice Court on a felony charge of intimidating a public officer by threat of physical violence. He could face one to five years in state prison and a $10,000 fine if he is convicted. The prosecution is being handled by state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto’s office. Posin has said Brooks intends to plead not guilty. Brooks acknowledged during the Review-Journal interview that he had a gun in his car when he was arrested Dec. 19. It wasn’t known why he had a gun.His lawyer said Brooks missed a Tuesday news conference in Carson City because he was hospitalized in Las Vegas for treatment of a pre-existing condition. Brooks made a brief appearance Wednesday at Nevada’s statehouse in Carson City, arriving with legislative police officers. His face was concealed beneath the hood of a sweatshirt, and he avoided reporters.