Speaker says Assemblyman Steven Brooks to take medical leave
February 4, 2013
Assemblyman Steven Brooks, who has been the center of several bizarre incidents in the past couple of months, will take a medical leave after being sworn in Monday.
“He has some medical issues he needs to get wrapped up,” said Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas.
Brooks was arrested after allegedly threatening violence against Kirkpatrick. That was followed by several other incidents including being placed on a 72 hour hold for psychiatric evaluation after an incident at his grandmother’s home involving a sword.
Kirkpatrick said she doesn’t know how long Brooks will be out during the legislative session: “It could be seven days; it could be 40 days.”
She said in part that will depend on the voters in his North Las Vegas Assembly district and whether they “put some pressure there to have some representation.”
She said Brooks’ decision to take leave isn’t unprecedented, pointing out that other lawmakers have taken time out during session. One of the more common reasons will occur again this session when, Kirkpatrick aid, Teresa Benitez-Thompson will be out for “a few weeks” to have her third child.
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Brooks’ decision won’t however, cancel plans to appoint a select committee to look into the situation. But Kirkpatrick said instead of an investigation of Brooks and his conduct, the select committee will look into how the Legislature should handle situations where a lawmaker needs to take leave or is accused of misconduct in the future. She said the committee will have to work out what leadership’s options are in different situations. That committee will be appointed Thursday, she said.
For now, she said, “the most important thing is that Steven recognizes he needs to get some help,” she said.
Kirkpatrick said she met with Brooks on Sunday.
“Steven and I had a conversation and he apologized and I accepted,” she said.
She said she expects Brooks to send her a letter saying he needs to take a medical leave to make everything official.