Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Published Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 | 12:39 p.m.
Updated Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 | 3:39 p.m.
Assemblyman Steven Brooks, accused of threatening to "do in" the Democratic leader of the Assembly, arrived in Carson City with a heavy police presence today, spending less than an hour holed up with legislative police and staff before leaving the Legislature.
Brooks, carrying a cane, wearing dark sunglasses and covering his head with a beige hood, was whisked by police into the Legislative Building and ushered into a closed conference room on the first floor of the building. As legislative staff attempted to divert reporters, Brooks was escorted out of the building after his meeting with police.
Brooks uttered a muffled "No comment," before flashing the peace sign to pursuing reporters.
Legislative Counsel Bureau Director Rick Combs said Brooks, a Democrat, arrived in Carson City to make housing arrangements for the legislative session, which begins Feb. 4.
Brooks did not attempt to attend the budget hearing on the fourth floor, avoiding a potentially tense meeting with Speaker-elect Marilyn Kirkpatrick, who Brooks is accused of threatening. Both Brooks and Kirkpatrick sit on the Ways and Means Committee, which is tasked with reviewing Gov. Sandoval's proposed budget.
"We are working with him to get those (living) arrangements made," Combs said. "Once those arrangements are made he plans to go back to Las Vegas. He is not feeling well. He is sick. I'm not aware of what his medical conditions are, he just isn't feeling well and isn't able to participate in the pre-session hearings."
When he arrived, Brooks was followed by a police officer pushing a wheelchair.
In another twist to the emerging story, the Las Vegas Township Constable's Office sent a deputy with Brooks to provide him personal protection while in Carson City. Constable John Bonaventura has a political rivalry with Kirkpatrick, who is sponsoring legislation to change how the constable's office governed. Bonaventura has been a controversial figure who proposed a reality television show based on his office.
Brooks' lawyer Mitchell Posin confirmed the constable's office offered Brooks personal protection.
"I haven't heard of it either, but this is apparently something they do," Posin said. "It was offered."
Brooks had earlier sought protection from legislative police, worried that a fugitive gang member was after him. Posin said the constable was there to protect him from both gang members and Kirkpatrick.
"Very likely both," Posin said when asked from whom Brooks needed protection.
Later Posin called a reporter to clarify that he didn't believe Kirpatrick posed a specific threat to Brooks, rather that Brooks needed protection because of the overall situation.
Legislative police picked Brooks up from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and drove him to Carson City. Combs said legislative police did not prevent Brooks from attending the budget hearing, nor did Brooks request access to the room.
Brooks was arrested Saturday on a felony charge of threatening a public official. Police found revolver and 41 rounds of ammunition in his car.
Brooks has declared his innocence, but has offered not explanation for what occurred Saturday. He faces a court hearing on Monday in Las Vegas.
This story has been edited to correct the name of Brooks’ lawyer.