Steven Brooks announced a three-week break from the Assembly on Thursday. (NLVPD)
CARSON CITY, NV (FOX5) -
Thursday brought major movement in the ongoing situation with embattled Assemblyman Steven Brooks.
The committee tasked with investigating his conduct was named, and Brooks once again announced he will take a leave of absence from the Legislature.
Brooks made the announcement about his departure from the floor, saying he would take three weeks off. The announcement was met by applause from some lawmakers.
Brooks, however, has yet to sign the paperwork to make it official.
On Wednesday, Brooks was removed from the Assembly Democratic Caucus. You wouldn't have known it from the smiles he flashed as he headed into Thursday's session.
The seven-person committee, introduced on Thursday to investigate Brooks and make a recommendation about his suitability to serve, includes four Democrats and three Republicans. Majority Leader William Horne is the chairman.
"The pressing issue and the issue that's taken away our attention from the other business of the Legislature is the Mr. Brooks issue," Horne said.
The committee will delve into Brooks' conduct and behavior over the last few months but will not directly factor in pending criminal charges connected to alleged threats he made to Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick.
"Perhaps that arrest brought to light a whole bunch of things, but the arrest is not the purpose of this committee, nor is the goal to expel Mr. Brooks. That is not our goal," Horne said.
The committee could recommend expulsion, which would require a two-thirds vote from the entire Assembly body.
"It's basically become a ping-pong match - back and forth. He's in and out. No one is really quite sure what's gonna happen next," said FOX5 political analyst Mitch Fox.
Brooks had agreed to meet with the media on Thursday to discuss the day's developments but he abruptly changed his mind and cut off communication.
The committee meetings will be open to the public and held during evenings so as not to interfere with legislative work. Brooks will be allowed as much participation as he likes.
Neither the Assembly nor the Senate will be in session on Friday. Lawmakers will be back to work on Monday.
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Monday, July 28 2014 1:54 AM EDT2014-07-28 05:54:28 GMT
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