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Troubled Nev. lawmaker vowing to go to Legislature

By Ken Ritter

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Feb. 1 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

This Feb. 9, 2011 file photo shows Assemblyman Steven Brooks in Carson City, Nev. Brooks, a Nevada lawmaker accused of threatening a state Democratic Assembly leader has been released from a hospital after a five-day medical and mental evaluation, his lawyer said Thursday Jan. 31, 2013.

Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — A Nevada lawmaker released following a five-day mental evaluation and allegations that he threatened a state Democratic Assembly leader vowed Friday to serve his elected office when the state Legislature convenes on Monday.

Legislative leaders, meanwhile, announced a select committee will be formed next week to consider what happens with Steven Brooks. The committee will have investigative powers and will report and make recommendations to the full Assembly on what action, if any, should be taken against their colleague.

Brooks spoke nearly non-stop for about three minutes then hung up the telephone when reached at home by The Associated Press.

The Democratic assemblyman from North Las Vegas identified himself by his full name and title, declared himself "lucid" and said he was no longer on medication.

"I'm finally well enough to get up and get out of bed and take my rightful seat representing the 17th District," he said. "You let everyone else know Steven Brooks has a reputation as a good man. I promise you we will explain everything with my lawyer."

Mitchell Posin, the lawyer representing Brooks during a series of sometimes bizarre developments since Brooks' Jan. 19 arrest on a felony threat charge, said Friday he hadn't spoken with Brooks.

An associate who has provided only his first name, Darren, answered a follow-up phone call to Brooks' home in North Las Vegas. He said Brooks would make no additional immediate statements.

Brooks, 40, who was re-elected to the Legislature in November, declined to say when or how he planned to travel to Carson City for the start of his second term.

"You'll find out," he said. "You guys have made this a media circus and I'm not going to be the butt of jokes anymore."

In Carson City, Rick Combs, director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau, said the formation of a select committee to probe whether a fellow legislator is fit to serve has never been done before.

"Obviously everything would be easier if this didn't happen," Combs said Friday. "I do feel confident we have the people and ability to do what needs to be done."

He said the goal of legislative staff is to "keep things as normal as possible, when things aren't normal" on opening day of the session.

Brooks, in his brief conversation with the AP, made a cryptic reference to allegations that he threatened incoming Assembly Democratic Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, who also lives in North Las Vegas, before his arrest in a car with a gun and ammunition in a shoebox. He appeared to deny wrongdoing and claim he was a victim.

"It was a metaphor," he said of the words he used. He didn't say what he said, but said reports about them were "being used to assassinate the character of a rising star."

North Las Vegas police reported that officers began looking for Brooks after being told that he was angry with Kirkpatrick and was driving around in a car with a loaded gun. Police said they were told Brooks had been released the night before from a private psychiatric center in Henderson.

North Las Vegas police on Thursday turned the results of their investigation over to the Nevada state attorney general's office.

Prosecutor Thom Gover said Friday he was reviewing the police report. He wouldn't say what charges police were recommending, but said the initial felony charge of intimidating a public officer by threat of physical violence was among them.

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