Nevada Assembly ousts embattled legislator Brooks

CARSON CITY — The bizarre 10-week odyssey of troubled state lawmaker Steven Brooks saw some measure of finality Thursday when the Assembly voted to expel him from the Nevada Legislature.

The voice vote easily exceeded the two-thirds requirement to oust the two-term assemblyman.

The Clark County Commission will pick a Democrat from District 17 in North Las Vegas to replace him.

Brooks, who answered his phone after the vote, said only, “You just want to harass a poor old crazy guy just because I’m black.”

He then hung up.

The brief floor session saw a lot of emotion from lawmakers, including Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, who choked up when calling for the vote to expel Brooks.

“Motion carried by a constitutional two-thirds majority vote, Steven J. Brooks II is hereby expelled from the Assembly and I hereby declare Assembly District 17 vacant,” she said.

HORNE, OTHERS EXPLAIN VOTES

In making a report to the full Assembly on the decision of the Select Committee that he led, Majority Leader William Horne said he felt less secure at the end of the investigation than when Brooks’ erratic behavior first began in January.

“Ultimately the report from independent counsel painted a picture of a man who is volatile, prone to angry outbursts and potentially dangerous,” the Las Vegas Democrat 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 a bullet-proof vest.

He said that Brooks made no effort to secure help and that the people who work in the Legislative Building deserve to be safe.

“As I stand before you today, I do not feel any more comfortable than I did at the beginning of the investigation,” Horne said. “I actually feel less comfortable.”

After the vote, Horne said Brooks will continue to be banned from the building, though he is now just a member of the public.

Assemblyman Wes Duncan, R-Las Vegas, spoke on the floor and offered a detailed explanation of his vote on the Select Committee to expel Brooks. He said that the independent counsel’s report showed “there was paranoia, there was mood swings, there was violent outbursts and there was a propensity for violence that I saw in those documents that would give everyone here pause.”

The report showed “there are many staff here who fear Mr. Brooks,” he said.

The people of Assembly District 17 don’t have a voice, Duncan said.

“They deserve to have a voice,” he said.

SOME VOTED AGAINST EXPULSION

Assemblywoman Dina Neal, D-North Las Vegas, who voted to suspend, not expel, Brooks as a member of the Select Committee, said she received emails suggesting she was racist for her vote to suspend Brooks.

She shed tears in explaining her vote to the full Assembly.

“I believe there are degrees of discipline, and based on the confidential records I saw, my decision remains that Steven be suspended from this body,” Neal said.

Assemblyman Harvey Munford, D-Las Vegas, said he voted against expulsion because he heard Brooks talking on the Patricia Cunningham radio show on KCEP-FM on Saturday, and “he presented himself very competently.”

“He sounded extremely rational,” Munford said. “He sounded like he knew what he was saying.”

Brooks’ ouster from the Legislature, a first in Nevada’s nearly 150-year history, won’t end his difficulties, but it will free the Assembly to focus on the budget and bills as the second half of the 120-day session gets under way.

Brooks, a Democrat, now has lost both his day job with the city of Las Vegas and his part-time position in the Legislature.

Several members of the seven-member Assembly Select Committee who voted to oust Brooks said that the decision was difficult and that they hoped he would seek the care he needs to restore his mental and physical health.

BROOKS STILL FACES CHARGES

Brooks’ troubles began with a Jan. 19 arrest on allegations that he threatened Kirkpatrick over his committee assignments.

Brooks still faces criminal charges, including a felony, stemming from a domestic violence arrest involving his wife in February. The Kirkpatrick matter is still under review by the Nevada attorney general’s office.

Brooks’ removal from office could result in legal action on his behalf against the Legislature. His attorney, Mitchell Posin, said Tuesday he has not yet discussed such an option with Brooks.

Horne said after the vote that the Legislature’s legal staff is prepared for any legal challenge, and “I’m confident that our actions here were well within the scope of our body.”

Horne, a member of the Select Committee, which voted 6-1 late Tuesday to recommend Brooks’ expulsion, said his fellow Democrats were being briefed on the panel’s action in caucus sessions before the Assembly floor vote.

There were a lot of questions, he said.

“It’s an enormous leap sometimes to ask your colleagues to trust you on matters, but as I stated last (Wednesday) night, the members on that committee were chosen for a reason: because of how their colleagues view them,” Horne said.

Assembly Republicans also caucused on the Brooks recommendation.

Select Committee members Horne and Duncan, with Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey, R-Reno; Lynn Stewart, R-Henderson; Richard Carrillo, D-Las Vegas; and Jason Frierson, D-Las Vegas; voted to recommend expulsion.

SECRECY CHALLENGED

There has been some fallout for Horne over the decision of the Select Committee to review a voluminous report on Brooks prepared by an independent counsel in closed session without the public present.

On Thursday, 14 Nevada news organizations filed a records request with the Legislative Counsel Bureau seeking the report, which has also been kept confidential.

Among the media outlets seeking the information are the Las Vegas Review-Journal and affiliated publications, the Las Vegas Sun, the Reno Gazette-Journal, the Nevada Appeal in Carson City, KLAS-TV, Channel 8, The Associated Press and the Nevada Press Association.

Horne said the reason for the secrecy was to protect Brooks’ privacy and avoid inflicting further harm on the now ex-lawmaker.

Horne said when the Select Committee hearing began that the state constitution allows the Legislature to meet in private to consider the character, alleged misconduct, professional competence or physical or mental health of a member.

“The information that was obtained through the investigation and included in the report are of a private nature, and we do not feel it is appropriate to make that information public,” he said. “While we always favor open meetings, there is a point at which we must also protect the privacy of others.”

Only Brooks could have waived the confidentiality requirement, and he did not do so.

Brooks was banished from the Legislative Building by Horne on Feb. 11 because of his questionable behavior.

A few days after his Jan. 19 arrest, Brooks was hospitalized for a mental evaluation after a disturbance at his grandmother’s house involving a sword.

On Feb. 10, he was arrested on suspicion of physically attacking his estranged wife in Las Vegas, then grabbing for an officer’s gun as he was taken into custody.

Brooks attended the opening day of the Legislature on Feb. 4 and attended a few committee meetings and floor sessions before abruptly leaving on Feb. 7 to seek what he said was medical treatment.

He has not returned to the Legislative Building since then.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Local man goes under cover searching for answers to homelessness
Licensed mental health therapist Sheldon Jacobs spent 48 hours under cover posing as a homeless man in an attempt to gain perspective on the complex issue.
Social Work UNLV Lecturer's Calling
Ivet Aldaba-Valera was the first person in her family to graduate from both high school and college. The 33-year-old UNLV lecturer is now pursuing her Ph. D in public policy at the school and has used her degree in social work to engage with the young Latino and Latina community of Las Vegas. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
The world's longest racetrack could be coming to Pahrump
Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club in Pahrump might be the first racetrack in the world longer than 16 miles long once the expansion is complete. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Gold Point townsperson talks about why he choose to live in a ghost town
Gold Point townsperson Walt Kremin talks about the ghost town in Nevada he calls home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Search for missing 3-year-old boy at Sunset Park
Las Vegas police and Red Rock Search and Rescue team search for a missing child at Sunset Park in southeast Las Vegas on Sunday, Sept.2, 2018. (Chitose Suzuki/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai speaks at Las Vegas tech conference
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban on her way home from school in Pakistan after advocating for girls' education, spoke at VMworld 2018 at Mandalay Bay. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Father recalls the night his 14-year-old son died jumping into moving traffic
From the Clark County Detention Center, Ezequiel Anorve Serrano talks about the night his 14-year-old son, Silas Anorve, died jumping into moving traffic on U.S. 95. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Palace Station unveils new sports book
Palace Station talks about the new sports book Thursday, August 23, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
One of world's longest racetracks planned in Pahrump by 2020
The racetrack will be 16 miles long by the year 2020 according to Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club owner John Morris. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Henderson police bodycam footage of officer-involved shooting
Henderson police released body-worn camera footage of an officer-involved shooting in a grocery store parking lot at 2667 Windmill Parkway on Aug. 12, 2018. (Henderson Police Department)
Robotics takes off at Las Vegas Academy
Las Vegas Academy’s robotics team made it all the way to the world competition last year, the first year the team competed. Zackary Perry describes how they programmed their robot to compete. The team is an example of what Tesla wants to have in every school in the state. (Meghin Delaney/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bicyclist suffers major head trauma in hit-and-run
A bicyclist was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after a Thursday morning hit-and-run crash near the school formerly known as Agassi Prep. Police said the bicyclist was hit by a white SUV, which fled the scene. The injured man suffered multiple injuries including major head trauma. As of 9 a.m., Lake Mead remained closed between Martin Luther King and Revere Street while police investigate.
Las Vegas artist Dave Dave dies at 42
Dave Dave talks about his art and his life in 2016. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dave Dave, whose dad set him on fire in 1983, dies
Dave Dave, a respected Las Vegas artist who was badly scarred as a boy when his father tried to burn him to death in Southern California, died at Sunrise Hospital on July 15. He was 42. When he was 6, Dave's father tried to kill him by setting him on fire. He was given a sleeping pill and his bed at a Buena Park, California, motel was doused with kerosene. “I remembered being in a lot of pain,” Dave told the Review-Journal in 2016. “When stuff happens to you at that young of an age, you tend to block it out, but I remember the pain was excruciating.” Dave, who was born David Rothenberg, became close friends with Michael Jackson, who met him after the attack, which burned more than 90 percent of his body. “I wanted to meet him, and he wanted to meet me, and that just turned into a lifelong relationship that never ended,” Dave said. “It was amazing being friends with Michael Jackson. He was an amazing person.” Dave attended ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, and collaborated with various artists around Las Vegas, eventually selling his art to private collectors. Despite his challenges, he continued to live, thrive and create. Dave Dave
Homicide detectives investigate woman's death
Las Vegas police were called to Tahiti Village Resort early Wednesday after calls that someone had been shot. Police found a woman’s body between a parking garage and boiler room on the resort's property. A guest first reported hearing gunfire. There are no witnesses, but police will examine surveillance videos and look for clues. The woman was not identified, but a purse was found near the body. She did not appear to be a guest at the resort.
LVMPD Discusses Ross Dress for Less Shooting
LVMPD Assistant Sheriff Charles Hank discussed the 15th officer-involved shooting of the year at a press conference at Metro headquarters on Tuesday, Aug. 14. The active-shooter incident took place at the Ross Dress for Less store at the 4000 block Blue Diamond Road in the south Las Vegas Valley. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County School Board president Deanna Wright on travel expenses
Clark County School Board President Deanna Wright says she followed proper expense protocol in trip to Florida last year.
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Shooting leaves 1 dead in southeast valley
A man was found fatally shot in the doorway of a squatter apartment after an argument ended in gunfire on Sunday night. Officers responded about 10:30 p.m. to the Silver Pines apartments and discovered the man in a breezeway in one of the buildings. The wounded man died at the scene, despite the efforts of another person, who tried to administer medical aid. Witnesses saw a man and a woman flee the scene, but were unable to give police a clear description.
North Las Vegas unveils new school crosswalk
North Las Vegas councilman Isaac Barron talks about the new school crosswalk in front of CP Squires Elementary School Monday, August 6, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
LVMPD Briefing on OIS #13
Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly held a press conference to discuss details of the 13th officer-involved-shoot for the department in 2018. Video shows the moments before the suspect was shot. The shooting, which has been edited out, occurred as the suspect lunged at an officer outside the apartment. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sedan and semitrailer collide in south Las Vegas
An early Wednesday morning crash has left one person in critical condition. A sedan and semitrailer collided around 4 a.m. at the corner of Spencer Street and Serene Avenue. Police do not believe impairment is a factor in the crash. Spencer has been blocked off north of Serene while police continue their investigation.
Cybersecurity Professionals Flock to Las Vegas for Black Hat
Black Hat USA, the largest annual cybersecurity conference, is expecting a record 17,000 attendees during its six-day run at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center this week. One thing attendees have in mind is making sure they don't get hacked while they're there. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police chase ends with suspects captured in east Las Vegas
An early Tuesday morning chase ended with a car crash in an east Las Vegas neighborhood. Police were pursuing the vehicle, which they say was involved in robberies in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, when the driver crashed at Owens and Statz Street. A man was taken into custody. A woman was ejected from a vehicle and taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The intersection at Mojave Road and Owens Avenue was shut down while police officers searched for the suspect and investigated. The intersection will remain closed for most of the morning.
Record number participate in Touro University Nevada White Coat Ceremony
Three hundred sixty-five medical students received their white coats during the Touro University Nevada White Coat Ceremony at the M Resort in Henderson Monday. The ceremony was developed to honor students in osteopathic medicine, physician assistant studies, nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy as they accept the professional responsibilities inherent in their relationship with patients. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Stop for school buses, urges CCSD
Clark County School District Police Department hold a mock traffic stop at Centennial High School in Las Vegas, Monday, Aug. 6, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Work Begins at Las Vegas Community Healing Garden
Crews moved the wooden Remembrance Wall at the Las Vegas Community Healing Garden on South Casino Center Boulevard Monday. Construction on a permanent wall is set to begin within the week. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Man wounded outside Cottages apartment
Las Vegas police don't have a motive after a man was shot early Monday morning outside a northwest valley apartment. The man's mother called police to say her son had been shot. She called police around 1:15 a.m. Other people were inside the apartment but no one else was injured. Police are still looking for the shooter.
Politics
Michael Ramirez Joins The Review-Journal Team
Pulitzer prize winning political cartoonist Michael Ramirez talks about joining the Review-Journal and how he started his career.
Nevada Politics Today: Danny Tarkanian
The federal government should create a high-risk pool for individuals with pre-existing conditions. Susie Lee, the Democrat running for Congressional District 3 is against ICE. She’s also ducking debates, despite once challenging her opponent to debate her. That’s according to Danny Tarkanian, the Republican nominee for CD3.
Nevada Politics Today: Danny Tarkanian
The federal government should create a high-risk pool for individuals with pre-existing conditions. Susie Lee, the Democrat running for Congressional District 3 is against ICE. She’s also ducking debates, despite once challenging her opponent to debate her. That’s according to Danny Tarkanian, the Republican nominee for CD3.
Vice President Mike Pence visits Nellis Air Force Base
During his second visit to Nevada, Vice President Mike Pence spoke to airmen inside a Nellis Air Force Base hangar and spent the afternoon campaigning for GOP Sen. Dean Heller and gubernatorial nominee Adam Laxalt.
Nevada Politics Today: Karen Wayland
Nevada Politics Today: Asm. Jim Marchant
Asm. Marchant talks about education, voter integrity and running for leadership Nevada should increase funding for Career and Technical Education, but shouldn’t automatically register voters at the DMV. Assembly Republicans will also oppose tax increases next legislative session. That’s according to Assemblyman Jim Marchant.
Nevada Politics Today: Asm. Pickard talks about taking on LVCVA, taxes and Read by 3
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority CEO Rossi Ralenkotter shouldn’t get a “golden parachute.” Tax increases aren’t necessary, but if politicians want an increase they should send it to voters. Read by Three needs a chance to work, even if it holds back thousands of third graders. That’s according to Senate district 20 candidate and Assemblyman Keith Pickard.
The Right Take: Long-time, high-ranking employee sues CCSD
Start with who filed it. Goldman has worked for the district for 38 years, including 20 years as its chief negotiator. Next, move on to who he’s suing. That list includes the district, former-superintendent Pat Skorkowsky and two board members.
Nevada Politics Today: Nevada School Choice Coalition
Minority parents in Nevada strongly support school choice, and elected officials are taking notice. School choice is also a way to help modernize education. That’s according to Valeria Gurr, director of Nevada School Choice Coalition.
Nevada Politics Today: Jammal Lemy
The call by March for Our Lives to ban semi-automatic assault weapons is a conversation starter, not a defined policy proposal. The country needs to talk about finding ways to end gun violence, but the NRA has blood on its hands for opposing gun-control legislation. That’s according to March for Our Lives creative director Jammal Lemy.
The Right Take: Why is CCSD out of money?
Nevada’s education establishment hopes you’re bad at history. Otherwise, you’ll identify what’s missing in its push for more funding.
Nevada Politics Today: Thomas Jipping
Nevada Politics Today video host Victor Joecks talks with Senior legal fellow at Heritage Foundation, Thomas Jipping.
The Right Take: Clark County residents love illegal fireworks
If you were here last Wednesday, you saw, heard or felt some of the tens of thousands of illegal fireworks set off in the Vegas Valley.
Heller speaks during an interview with the RJ
U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., speaks during an interview with the Las Vegas-Review-Journal
Nevada Politics Today: Hardeep “Dee” Sull
Nevada Politics Today video host Victor Joecks sits down with Hardeep Sull to discuss immigration and the border wall.
The Right Take: Teachers can leave union from July 1-15
Nevada is a right-to-work state so teachers don’t have to join the Clark County Education Association. If they do join, however, they can only leave by submitting written notice to the union between July 1 and 15. Support staffers and education employees throughout Nevada have the same opt-out window.
Donald Trump Speaks At The Nevada Republican Party State Convention
President Donald Trump speaks at the Nevada Republican Party State Convention at the Suncoast Station.
The Right Take: Democrats Care More About Politics Than Immigrant Families
Democrats are already positioning themselves to vote down a law that would stop the separation of illegal immigrant parents and children. Remember this the next time you see liberals compare President Donald Trump and his administration to Nazis on this issue.
Nevada Politics Today: Dan Hart
Nevada Politics Today video host Victor Joecks sits down with political consultant, Dan Hart.
Nevada Primaries: Congressional Races
Review-Journal Political reporter Ramona Giwargis goes over the election night primary results for the congressional races.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like