CARSON CITY - The Nevada Assembly Democratic Caucus announced late Wednesday that Assemblyman Steven Brooks, D-North Las Vegas, is no longer a member.
Democrats control the Assembly with 27 members to 15 Republicans, so the loss of one member is not expected to change the dynamic of the house.
"At this time, the organization has determined it's in Mr. Brooks' and the organization's best interest to part ways," a statement from the Assembly leadership said. "The caucus encourages him to work on his health issues without the rigor of caucus business. The ADC remains as committed as ever to conducting the people's business this session."
Brooks' service in the Assembly became controversial after he was arrested in Las Vegas on Jan. 19 on allegations that he threatened Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas.
After initially asking for a leave from his legislative service, Brooks changed his mind Tuesday and decided to participate in the session.
A select committee made up of Democrats and Republicans is expected to be appointed to consider expelling Brooks from the Legislature. The committee will report to the full Assembly and could recommend everything from no action to removal.
When Brooks arrived at the Legislative Building on Wednesday morning, he said, "I'm here and ready to serve."
That commitment did not appear to last long. After making an initial appearance at the 1:30 p.m. meeting of the Assembly Health and Human Services Committee on which he serves, Brooks left and did not participate in an overview of the state Department of Health and Human Services.
He said in his introductory remarks that he has had a "very tough month."
Brooks called the panel the most important in the Legislature and said he wants to get health insurance to those in need.
He again said he was serving in the Legislature, rather than taking a leave of absence, to work for his constituents in Assembly District 17.
And then he left the hearing.
Legislative staff later confirmed he had a medical appointment and had left for the day.
Assembly Majority Leader William Horne, D-Las Vegas, said Brooks did not tell him that he had an appointment and would have to miss the hearing.
Horne said Tuesday that Brooks would be expected to attend committee hearings and perform the same amount of work as the 41 other Assembly members.
Brooks told Assembly Democratic leaders Tuesday that he would serve rather than take an extended leave to address undisclosed medical issues.
Horne said Tuesday that Brooks' failure to attend hearings could be a factor in assessing whether to expel the two-term lawmaker from the Assembly.
Brooks' day Wednesday started off in a routine manner. He arrived at the Legislative Building just after 8 a.m. and headed to his office on the third floor.
About 9 a.m., Brooks went down to the first-floor cafeteria to order breakfast sandwiches and coffee for himself and two legislative police officers who accompanied him. His initial bill came to more than $20. He then put several yogurts and juices on his tab before leaving.
Brooks told a reporter he had lost 50 or 60 pounds in the past two months and now weighed 160 or 155 pounds.
"It's called the stress diet," said Brooks, who was walking with a cane. "I lost so much weight. Do I look good? I'm so hungry all the time now."
Brooks, dressed in a dark suit, appeared to be in an upbeat mood. He smiled and joked with the legislative police. He said he wanted to get back to a normal work schedule and not remain behind closed doors, avoiding the media.
"I'm not running," Brooks said. "I'm here to serve my constituents."