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May 28, 2015

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Legislature hires special counsel, private investigator for Brooks probe

Las Vegas lawyer Mark Ferrario has signed a $45,000 contract with the Nevada Legislature to act as special counsel in the probe of Assemblyman Steven Brooks, D-North Las Vegas. The Legislature has also hired Reno private investigator Duane Isenberg to gather evidence for the case that could result in Brooks' ouster from the Assembly.

The state has agreed to pay Isenberg an hourly rate of $75, as well as reimburse for expenses and mileage.

A select committee has been appointed to hear testimony on whether Brooks should be expelled from the Legislature. Ferrario will present the case, including evidence gathered by Isenberg. The committee will then make a recommendation to the full Legislature.

Since January, Brooks has been arrested twice, once on allegations he threatened the life of Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick and a second time following a domestic disturbance involving his wife. Brooks is facing felony charges of resisting police, after he allegedly jumped on an officer and yelled that he had the officer's gun. Brooks has also been charged with domestic battery.

In a separate incident, Brooks was involuntarily admitted to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation after a domestic disturbance involving a sword.

The Assembly committee will not investigate the criminal charges against Brooks, rather will examine past and recent ethical behavior, Assembly Majority Leader William Horne, D-Las Vegas, has said.

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