(CARSON CITY, KXNT)–A select committee of the Nevada Assembly voted 6-1 late Tuesday to expel embattled North Las Vegas lawmaker Steven Brooks. The decision goes to a full vote of the Assembly as early as late Wednesday morning, although that decision is at the discretion of the Assembly Speaker.
The legislature has never expelled a member, dating back to 1867.
The decision capped a meeting at the Carson City Courthouse that lasted for several hours–mostly behind closed doors–as lawmakers pored over a 900 page report that had been amassed on Brooks. Las Vegas attorney Mark Ferrario, the special counsel, said the closed meetings were legal, and necessary, he said, because of the private nature of information provided. He says the law intended for such information be reviewed out of respect for the privacy of the individual under investigation.
Brooks was not present for the hearing, which began 90 minutes after its scheduled start time of 6pm Tuesday night because his attorney experienced travel delays.
Brooks has had a tumultuous several months during which he was charged with a felony in a threat to the Assembly’s Speaker, was arrested and charged after a domestic disturbance in which police say he wrestled with an officer on the floor, and tried to take the officer’s gun. At least twice Brooks has undergone medical and mental evaluations and was recently denied the purchase of a rifle at a sporting goods store because of information that appeared on a background check.
Brooks was fired from his regular job with the city of Las Vegas, and has spent this legislative session on the sideline, first saying he would take a leave of absence, then as fellow lawmakers forced him to take a leave of absence.
Brooks, a Democrat, is a two-term representative of North Las Vegas.