Embattled Assemblyman Steven Brooks has changed his mind. He will not take a leave of absence from the Assembly, a move that caught fellow members off guard.
Brooks had agreed to walk away temporarily on Monday, but he was still negotiating with Assembly leadership on the length of the leave. On Tuesday, he was expected to sign the paperwork and depart for southern Nevada. Instead, he dropped a bombshell that has lawmakers rattled.
Less than 24 hours after agreeing in principle to take leave, Brooks walked into the Nevada Legislature Building in Carson City at noon and surprised leadership by backing out of the leave, saying he's ready to work.
Assemblyman William Horne said he believes Brooks made a poor decision.
"I've known Mr. Brooks for more than three years. In my opinion, Mr. Brooks is not the same gentleman that I've grown to know. I believe that Mr. Brooks should take some time to deal with the problems he said he had. Unfortunately, he believes he's ready, and so that's his prerogative. So we expect him to come and participate," Horne said.
Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, who Brooks allegedly threatened weeks ago, said she feels absolutely safe around him, but she is disappointed with his staying on.
"I'm concerned that Mr. Brooks needs to address his medical concerns that he said he wanted to address on Sunday and I hope that he feels better and is able to keep up with the workload this session," she said.
At this point, there is nothing the Assembly can do to stop Brooks from serving. However, a special committee will be formed on Thursday to determine if Brooks is fit to serve.
"This committee will have investigative powers and we will look at his conduct and behavior over recent months and make the determination on whether or not he is fit to serve," Horne said.
Once the committee concludes its investigation, it will make a recommendation to the entire body that could include anything from no action to expulsion.
The committee's findings are expected to take a few weeks to be released.
Brooks is expected to be in a committee meeting early on Wednesday.
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