2013 Legislature: Nevada Assembly Democrats oust Steven Brooks from caucus
The Assembly Democratic caucus late Wednesday issued a statement saying North Las Vegas Assemblyman Steven Brooks is no longer a member of the caucus.That effectively leaves Brooks on his own in the Legislature, cutting him out of the policy and other discussions party members will have this session.“At this time, the organization has determined it’s in Mr. Brooks’ and the organization’s best interest to part ways,” the statement said. “The caucus encourages him to work on his health issues without the rigor of caucus business.”Wednesday’s statement came hours after Brooks — who on Tuesday backed out of a deal to take a medical leave from the Assembly — said that he’s dealing with a “purely physical” medical issue and that his sanity has never been in question.Brooks attended the Assembly floor session a day after he rejected the leave of absence he first requested from leadership Sunday.That request followed a series of bizarre incidents Brooks was involved in beginning with his arrest on charges he allegedly threatened Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas. That charge, a felony, is still pending in North Las Vegas.He was later admitted to a hospital for mental evaluation — a 72-hour hold that followed an incident at his grandmother’s house involving a sword.Both Kirkpatrick and Assembly Majority Leader William Horne, D-Las Vegas, have said they disagree with Brooks’ decision to assume his legislative seat rather than ask for leave to take care of his physical and psychological problems. Horne said he had known Brooks for more than three years, “and in my opinion, Mr. Brooks is not the same gentleman I used to know.”Brooks told reporters a paid leave was simply out of the question because he was in Carson City to serve his constituents. The Democrat said he wouldn’t accept a penny from taxpayers if he wasn’t working. Later Brooks briefly attended an afternoon meeting of the Assembly Health and Human Services Committee. During introductions he said he represented District 17, the North Town, and proclaimed, “I’m in the house.” Brooks said the committee is the “most important” because he wants to get health coverage for those in need. He left after a few minutes and didn’t return. Brooks was first accused of allegedly threatening Kirkpatrick after she declined to name him as chairman of the powerful Assembly Ways and Means Committee. If that charge is pursued, it would be a felony. • Matt Woolbright of The Associated Press contributed to this report.