Brooks back in Northern Nevada, lawmakers brace for his attempt to enter the building

UPDATE: I have posted here the letter that was delivered to Brooks by legislative police.


A few hours after he was banned from the Legislative Building, Assemblyman Steven Brooks arrived back in Northern Nevada.

Brooks was met at the Reno airport late Monday evening by legislative police, who served him with a letter penned by Assembly Majority Leader William Horne informing him he is not to enter the Legislative Building.

I talked to Horne early this morning, and he told me while there is no written opinion from Legislative Counsel Brenda Erdoes, he believes the authority to ban Brooks from the building is solid because of the rules adopted by the special committee and because "it is temporary....he has not been removed from office."

Horne made it clear that he believes leaders had to balance Brooks' rights with "taking the appropriate steps, as any employer would do, to keep a workplace free from harrassment and safe. It was necessary at this juncture to place him on leave for the benefit of everyone in the Legislative Building."

It's clear that they think the power to do so dervies from Artcile 4, Section 6 of the Constitution, which simply says:

Power of houses to judge qualifications, elections and returns of members; selection of officers; rules of proceedings; punishment of members.  Each House shall judge of the qualifications, elections and returns of its own members, choose its own officers (except the President of the Senate), determine the rules of its proceedings and may punish its members for disorderly conduct, and with the concurrence of two thirds of all the members elected, expel a member.

"That, coupled with our obligation to maintain a safe work environment" gives them the right to ban Brooks from the buidling in which he was elected to serve, Horne said.

As for Brooks possibly attempting to come to work today, Horne said: "I certainly hope he doesn't try."

Horne said Brooks has been informed that the police will fetch any items he needs from his office, but the majority leader added, "I am confident the legislative police will not allow him to enter the building."