Nevada lawmaker in death threat probe arrested again

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 11, 2013 3:05 AM

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - A Nevada state lawmaker briefly jailed last month on suspicion of leveling a death threat against the speaker of the state Assembly was arrested on Sunday after police claimed he attacked a member of his family.

Democratic Assemblyman Steven Brooks, 40, was taken into custody outside his Las Vegas home shortly after midnight local time and booked into a detention center on suspicion of domestic battery and obstructing officers, Las Vegas city police said in a statement.

They said Brooks became combative and fought with police who confronted him at his home, attempting at one point to grab one of their weapons before he was subdued.

Police said their investigation also "determined Brooks had physically attacked a family member," though no further details were immediately provided.

His arrest came three weeks after the second-term lawmaker was held over an alleged death threat against incoming state Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, also a Democrat. Police said Brooks was found driving with a handgun registered to another individual and 41 rounds of ammunition.

Brooks told police he had the gun because he had been invited to a National Rifle Association event, but the arrest report indicated that legislative staffers had disputed this.

He was released from jail the following day and called a news conference that he failed to attend. His attorney, Mitchell Posin, said then that the lawmaker had been hospitalized with intestinal bleeding.

On January 25, the Las Vegas Review-Journal published an interview in which Brooks proclaimed his innocence, and claimed it was he, not Kirkpatrick, who was in danger, and that he had an armed guard.

Later the same day, police were called to what they said was a domestic disturbance involving Brooks, who was taken to a hospital for a medical evaluation, according to authorities.

Brooks' lawyer has said the lawmaker and the Assembly speaker had clashed in a series of political disputes, leading to Kirkpatrick passing Brooks over for the chairmanship of the powerful Ways and Means Committee.

The attorney could not immediately be reached by Reuters for comment about Brooks' latest arrest. But Posin was quoted in the Las Vegas Review-Journal as saying he had not yet received any information about the case.

The newspaper reported that the state Assembly has convened a seven-member committee to investigate Brooks' conduct and decide whether he should be permitted to continuing serving in the legislature.

(Reporting by Cynthia Johnston; Additional reporting and writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by John Stonestreet)