Democratic assemblyman arrested for threatening the speaker

UPDATE: I have confirmed that state Sen. Kelvin Atkinson informed Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick of the threat from Brooks, who had been telling people that Kirkpatrick's "first day as speaker would be her last." (I thought he had said those words to Councilman Ricki Barlow, who denies that occurred, although Brooks had said them to others, I'm told. I deleted a previous, confusing reference to Barlow on that score. But Barlow, who said on Twitter that he had "no involvement whatsoever," called Atkinson, who then notified Kirkpatrick and gave a statement to the police, sources said.)

I am also told by several sources that Brooks' behavior had been described as bizarre and irrational by several people who interacted with him during the last few weeks. "The situation has been escalating for the last 30 or 40 days," one of his colleagues told me.

The story gets even more bizarre, too, I am told: After the police were contacted, Brooks himself called the cops and told them gang members were after him. The police did not find him at home but apprehended him at a traffic stop.

As I write below, Brooks had been looking for votes (unsuccessfully) to depose Kirkpatrick on the first day of the session two weeks from Monday and thus get appointed to the chairmanship of Ways and Means he so coveted. But whether that escalated to a physical threat, as Atkinson apparently believed could occur, will be interesting to watch. But having a loaded gun in his possession along with the number of people who knew of his animus toward the speaker will not help Brooks.

One more ironic note: This arrest came several hours after an NRA-training session for lawmakers in Las Vegas. Brooks did not attend.

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Democratic Assemblyman Steven Brooks was arrested Saturday for threatening Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, multiple sources and public documents confirm.

Kirkpatrick was informed of the threat after Brooks, apparently brandishing a weapon (UPDATE: One other report said he had a loaded gun in his car.), told people he was after the speaker. I'm reliably told that Brooks has been warned before about disruptive behavior in the caucus, but no one expected it to escalate to this level.

The charge is "intimidating a public officer by threat of physical violence (NRS 199.300)."

And the session hasn't even begun yet!

Here are some details.

More details if/when I get them. But no matter what Brooks' issues are, it seems highly unlikely that the Assembly Democratic Caucus can function with him in Carson City.

Will he resign? What will the caucus statement be?

This sounds ugly.

MORE BACKGROUND: Brooks was part of a faction within caucus that did not want Kirkpatrick to be speaker. As the Sun's David McGrath Schwartz pointed out, Brooks was unhappy with his committee assignments from Kirkpatrick. But it's worse than that: As recently as a few weeks ago, he was still disgruntled and, I'm reliably told, was trying to find enough Democratic and Republican votes to try to get someone else elected speaker on Feb. 4. But he had found little or no support for such a coup -- indeed, most Republicans like Kirkpatrick.

UPDATED WITH ASSEMBLY DEMOCRATIC NON-STATEMENT:

"It has been reported that yesterday afternoon Assemblyman Steven Brooks was arrested in North Las Vegas on the charge of intimidating a public officer with physical force.   

Executive Director of the Assembly Democratic Caucus Brendan Summers said this morning, “We understand an investigation is currently ongoing and we have no further comment at this time.”