75°F
weather icon Clear

Brooks’ troubles put mental health in spotlight

Mental health became a focus of the Nevada Legislature in a very personal way this session because of expelled Assemblyman Steven Brooks’ public difficulties.

The North Las Vegas Democrat’s first arrest was Jan. 19 when he was accused of making threats against Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas. North Las Vegas police said Brooks had a gun and ammunition in his car when he was arrested.

On Jan. 25, Brooks was hospitalized for a mental evaluation after Las Vegas police were called to his grandmother’s house by Legislative Police because he was acting erratically and wielding a sword. He was released after five days, although he could have been involuntarily or voluntarily committed.

Brooks was sworn in at the Legislature on Feb. 4 and attended a few committee hearings the next day, but he refused Assembly leaders’ offer to take a paid leave of absence to deal with his health problems.

On Feb. 10, Brooks was arrested at his estranged wife’s home in Las Vegas after police accused him of throwing punches and grabbing for the gun of an officer who responded to a domestic dispute.

On Feb. 11, an Assembly Select Committee investigating Brooks banned him from the Legislative Building because of his questionable behavior and placed him on paid administrative leave from the part-time job.

On March 28, the Assembly voted with a two-thirds voice vote to expel Brooks from the legislative body.

The Select Committee led by Majority Leader William Horne, D-Las Vegas, had recommended expulsion.

In making his report to the full Assembly, Horne said he felt less secure at the end of the investigation than when Brooks’ erratic behavior first began in January. Brooks did not cooperate with the probe.

“Ultimately the report from independent counsel painted a picture of a man who is volatile, prone to angry outbursts and potentially dangerous,” Horne said. “In fact, since the odd events which led to these proceedings, Assemblyman Brooks has continued to engage in questionable and unpredictable behavior.”

Horne said Brooks tried to buy a rifle with a scope, night-vision goggles and body armor. He said Brooks made no effort to get help and Legislative Building workers deserve to be safe.

Later that evening Brooks was arrested in California by police after a freeway chase. The charges were evading and resisting arrest, throwing objects from his vehicle and harming a police dog.

Brooks pleaded not guilty in California. His Nevada bail was revoked April 3.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson, who is handling the domestic violence case against Brooks in Las Vegas, said it was clear after the high-speed chase the lawmaker is a danger.

“He is clearly a threat to himself and to others,” Wolfson said.

Brooks’ expulsion was the first in Nevada history. He also lost his job with the city of Las Vegas.

Contact reporter Laura Myers at lmyers @reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2919. Follow @lmyerslvrj on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Tomi Lahren Speaks at UNLV - VIDEO
Fox News contributor and UNLV alumna Tomi Lahren returned to campus Wednesday night for a speech, titled “Stay Triggered,” that drew an auditorium of supporters as well as a group of protesters outside. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders released from Las Vegas hospital - VIDEO
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., issues a statement after he was released from Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week. (Bernie Sanders via Twitter)
Democratic presidential candidates speak on impeachment - VIDEO
Democratic presidential candidates attending the March for Our Lives/Giffords Gun Safety Forum in Las Vegas comment on possible impeachment proceedings. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden Las Vegas Rally Highlights - Video
2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden, came to Las Vegas to talk guns, climate change and the Ukranian-Trump scandal. Biden was interrupted by a protestor who sat amongst supporters at the rally and continued with his speech. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden comments on Trump and his campaign efforts in Nevada - Video
After an impeachment inquiry was opened on Donald Trump, Joe Biden talks with Review-Journal politics reporter Rory Appleton about Trump and his campaign in Nevada. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
Mother receives cancer diagnosis after giving birth

Three months after giving birth, Elaine Arcenas discovered a lump in her breast while doing a self-exam. The diagnosis was cancer. She finished most of her cancer treatments by the time of her daughter’s first birthday, and today Arcenas is a healthy 12-year survivor.

Genetic testing can catch cancer early

When her doctor realized that Susan Wincn had several family members reaching back generations who had been diagnosed with cancer or succumbed early in life, she recommended a new genetic panel that tests for 84 cancer genes. The tests came back showing that Wincn has the ATM gene, which leaves her at a higher risk for breast, prostate, colon and pancreatic cancers.

 
Summerlin-area land sold to health care company for $19M

Intermountain Healthcare, a nonprofit system with more than 20 hospitals, spent almost $19 million to purchase roughly 7.7 acres at the southeast corner of Rampart Boulevard and Alta Drive, near Summerlin.