Ex-lawmaker offers unsold Christmas trees for free

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — The man who dropped off about 350 Christmas trees at a Las Vegas area tree-recycling center making them free for the taking for anyone in need of a tree on Christmas Eve was ousted Nevada assemblyman Steven Brooks.

Brooks said Wednesday he was selling trees to raise money for a nonprofit he leads called Freedom Enhancement Academy that he said designs math and science programs for at-risk students.

But Brooks said he didn't sell as many trees as he hoped and didn't break even.

"It doesn't matter," he said. "What matters is we were able to make someone else's Christmas."

With the days ticking to Christmas and hundreds of trees still on his lot, he said he wanted to give them to the people that needed them. "It was just the right thing to do."

He said he didn't drop off the trees for any credit or recognition.

His identity was unknown until Brooks confirmed his role when reached by phone.

Brooks got attention in 2013 after he became the first state lawmaker to be expelled by his elected colleagues in the Assembly and who, on the same day, led authorities on a high-speed chase to California. Earlier this year he received a two-year, eight month prison sentence for resisting arrest and evading an officer, but a judge said he fulfilled his sentence for time served and good behavior.

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