In an historic moment this morning, the Nevada Assembly expelled Democrat Steven Brooks from his North Las Vegas seat.
After the vote, a tearful Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, also D-North Las Vegas, declared the Assembly District 17 seat vacant.
The decision was made on a voice vote, with only a very few weak “no” votes audible in the chamber.
Majority Leader William Horne, D-Las Vegas, said the documentation, which remains secret at this point, “paints a picture of a man who is volatile, prone to angry outbursts and potentially dangerous.”
He said it would have been negligent and actionable to allow him to return toe the assembly.
He also pointed out that Brooks chose not even to appear at Tuesday’s hearing where the Select Committee reviewed some 900 pages of investigative material and present his side of the case, relying instead on his lawyer.
Brooks is the first Nevada lawmaker to be expelled in state history.
The situation began when Brooks allegedly threatening Kirkpatrick’s life because she refused to name him chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.
Horne said after that, he continued to engage in angry outbursts and questionable behavior leaving the Assembly no choice but to expel him for the safety of legislative staff, the public and members of the body.
Horne said afterward he believes that, while most of the investigative materials are confidential, the body gave Brooks and his constituents enough information to understand why he was being removed.
Horne expressed hope that Brooks would get the mental help he needs to straighten out his life.
The lone dissent came from North Las Vegas Democrat Dina Neal who said she was simply not convinced he should go despite the growing number of incidents of bizarre and seemingly threatening conduct. Even she agreed he should remain suspended from the body.
After the threats against Kirkpatrick, there were several incidents including one involving a sword outside a relative’s southern Nevada home and charges of domestic battery against his estranged wife. That incident also involved a scuffle with police in which he allegedly tried to take the arresting officer’s gun. He faces resisting arrest and domestic violence charges in that case.
Brooks was at one point ordered held 72 hours for psychological evaluation. More recently, he tried to buy a hunting rifle from a sporting good store in Sparks but was denied.
Horne said after the vote that Brooks remains barred from the Legislature because of fears he might be a danger to himself and others.