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Assembly Members React To Brooks' Expulsion

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Lawmakers say it was a very difficult and emotional day, deciding the fate of one of their peers, with the Assembly ultimately deciding to expel Steven Brooks.

The Nevada State Assembly voted by voice, all at once with a yay or nay, deciding Brooks' fate. 

The two-thirds vote comes two days after a special committee voted six to one, recommending expulsion for the troubled assemblyman.

Brooks has been suspended for almost all of the legislative session, after being arrested twice since January.

The first arrest was for reportedly threatening Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, and a second time for an alleged domestic dispute.

"He's had personal problems, as many people do in society, Minority Leader Pat Hickey said. "We hope he gets taken care of, but the process has to go on," 

Despite the two-thirds vote to expel Brooks, fellow Assembly members say it was a difficult decision.

One that most say came down to his mental well-being.

"I can see the instability that he was demonstrating," Assemblyman Randy Kirner said. "It was concerning to me that he wanted to go out and buy a rifle with a scope and body armor."

"It has been painful to see Mr. Brooks in the state that he is in today," Majority Leader William Horne said.

Assemblywoman Dina Neal voted against expulsion, saying a suspension was more appropriate.

"At least he would still have had a chance to rectify what was happening and become better," Neal said.

The finality of the decision is also something Neal said she was not ready to approve.

"It is political death," she said. "There is nothing you can do beyond that. He will never be able to run for an office, ever."

Making this decision more difficult was that many colleagues have known Brooks for several years.

"Many of us were friendly with him," Hickey said. "I sat next to him last session. So, I knew him last year and from all appearances, it wasn't the same Steven Brooks."

"That's what made it hard because you know somebody when they're normal and then you see the abnormality," Neal said. "So, that's was very difficult for a lot of us."

While the Assembly is moving on from this historical decision, they say they also hope Brooks will find a new start.

"I hope that he gets the help that he needs," Horne said. "I hope that happens sooner than later. I wish nothing but the best for him and his family."

The Clark County Commissioners will now begin the process of appointing someone to take over for Brooks' vacated seat. Lawmakers say they expect that process to take one to two weeks.

Since Brooks is a democrat, someone from his party will take his spot on the Assembly floor.

Lawmakers say it's important to replace him, giving District 17 their representation.

Written by Paul Nelson
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