Expelled Nevada assemblyman gets probation in gun case

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — A former Nevada state lawmaker whose arrests, exploits and expulsion from the Legislature drew intense attention two years ago received three years' probation and a stern warning Tuesday that he faces six years in prison if he misbehaves.

A judge ordered Steven Brooks to spend six months in intensive supervision to ensure he remains sober, takes prescription medications and obtains a mental health evaluation and treatment.

"Frankly, Mr. Brooks, if you find yourself in difficulty with probation, the community necessarily might be put at risk," Clark County District Court Judge David Barker said.

Brooks' unraveling and eventual expulsion during the 2013 Legislature included a months-long streak of bizarre behavior that included arrests, forced mental health evaluations, cryptic public statements and appearances, and a memorable photo of the second-term Democratic assemblyman from North Las Vegas posing shirtless for a newspaper interview.

The 42-year-old Brooks didn't speak in court Tuesday, and he declined to comment as he left the courthouse with his wife and his mother. They also declined to comment.

Brooks' lawyer, Adam Gill, said he believes Brooks will succeed on probation.

Barker accepted a plea deal that could get Brooks' felony gun charge reduced to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct conviction. The judge also ordered that Brooks' probation in the gun case occur at the same time as his three-year probation sentence in a separate resisting-arrest conviction in a domestic violence case.

Brooks pleaded guilty in August in a two-case plea deal that got him released from jail after 17 months behind bars in California and Nevada.

The gun charge stemmed from his January 2013 arrest in North Las Vegas with a .357-caliber revolver in his state-issued car after police were told he threatened to harm Democratic Assembly leader Marilyn Kirkpatrick. It included a legal acknowledgment that Brooks used marijuana when he was an elected official.

The resisting arrest case stemmed from a February 2013 arrest after Brooks scuffled with officers called to a domestic argument at his home, and he allegedly tried to take one officer's gun.

Weeks later, Brooks was ousted from the Nevada Legislature as a security risk — becoming the first lawmaker ever expelled in the state.

Colleagues cited a 900-page report commissioned by legislative leaders that cost some $95,000. It was never made public. But officials said it contained evidence that Brooks was unfit to serve his elected position.

The same day his expulsion was voted on in Carson City, Brooks was arrested in California after leading Barstow police on a 23-mile chase on Interstate 15 to Victorville.

Officers eventually deployed a spike strip to stop Brooks' vehicle. He was accused of choking and hitting a police dog with a metal socket wrench before he was taken into custody.

Brooks pleaded no contest in California in March 2014 to felony evading a peace officer and resisting arrest. He was sentenced in July by a San Bernardino County Superior Court judge to time served and returned in custody to Las Vegas.

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