A Democratic assemblyman is in jail, arrested for threatening Democratic Speaker-elect Marilyn Kirkpatrick, according to North Las Vegas Police and Democratic sources familiar with the situation.
Assemblyman Steven Brooks, 40, of North Las Vegas made threats to harm a public official Saturday afternoon, police said in a news release Sunday morning. A source said he was arrested with a loaded gun after threatening to shoot Kirkpatrick.
Kirkpatrick and witnesses who corroborated the allegation prompted police to begin searching for Brooks. About 5:30 p.m., Brooks was seen driving in the area of Carey Avenue and Mt. Hood Street, where he was taken into custody without incident during a traffic stop.
Another Democratic source with knowledge of the situation said Brooks publicly threatened to harm Kirkpatrick because he was unhappy with the committee assignments given to him by Kirkpatrick. The 2013 Legislature begins Feb. 4.
Kirkpatrick was selected to lead the Assembly by the Democratic caucus, but she was expected to face divisions. Her caucus was split between her and Assemblyman William Horne, D-Las Vegas, after the presumed incoming speaker, Assemblyman Marcus Conklin, D-Las Vegas, lost his re-election bid. That threw the caucus into turmoil.
Brooks had told lobbyists and other lawmakers that he had expected to become chairman of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, a powerful committee that oversees changes to the governor’s proposed budget. Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas, was selected for the position.
Brooks was booked into Las Vegas City Jail on one count of intimidating a public officer by threat of physical violence.
North Las Vegas Police, citing the ongoing investigation, would not release further details.
Brendan Summers, executive director of the Assembly Democratic Caucus, released a statement saying, “We understand an investigation is currently ongoing, and we have no further comment at this time.”
Democratic sources with knowledge of the caucus said that Brooks’ behavior in caucus meetings had been “erratic” and leadership had begun documenting his behavior.
Brooks was first elected in 2010. He represents Assembly District 17.
Brooks had served as an assistant for Las Vegas City Councilman Ricki Barlow. He currently works as a management analyst with the city of Las Vegas for the Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department. His gross wage for 2011, when he also served for four months in the Legislature, was $32,873, according to transparentnevada.com. His wages for 2012 won’t be available until Tuesday, Las Vegas officials said.
“As is the city’s standard practice, we will treat this situation as a personnel matter, meaning the facts surrounding it will be thoroughly reviewed,” Las Vegas spokesman David Riggleman said. “Following that review, the city will take the appropriate action.”
Brooks in 2011 was drawn into a seat with Assemblyman Cresent Hardy, R-Mesquite, after the 2011 legislative session in lines determined by a bipartisan panel. Brooks moved into his current seat rather than face Hardy.
Brooks is 40 and has four children.