A Nevada lawmaker has been arrested on suspicion of threatening to harm a fellow legislator in a case that has prompted security protection to be provided for two top legislative leaders.
North Las Vegas police said Sunday that they began a search for Assemblyman Steven Brooks, D-North Las Vegas, on Saturday after receiving corroborating witness statements supporting the victim's report of a threat. Police didn't identify the lawmaker who reported the threat.
Brooks was taken into custody without incident during a traffic stop late Saturday afternoon in his hometown, police said, and he was booked into the Las Vegas jail on a felony count of intimidating a public officer by threat of physical violence. He remained in jail Sunday afternoon, and it wasn't immediately known whether he had a lawyer.
Assembly Majority Leader William Horne, D-Las Vegas, declined to comment on the target of the threat but said he and Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick have been provided security protection because of it.
"All I can say is Assemblyman Brooks made some threats that gave concern to us and to law enforcement, and it was determined for a level of precaution that we get security details until this gets worked out," Horne told The Associated Press.
Horne declined to comment on published reports that Brooks was upset because of the committee assignments Kirkpatrick had given him.
"We're going to let the police investigation take place, and we wish Mr. Brooks well," he said.
Kirkpatrick didn't return phone calls seeking comment.
Brendan Summers, executive director of the Assembly Democratic Caucus, declined to comment on the arrest.
Brooks, 40, a management analyst for the city of Las Vegas, was elected to a second term in November. A father of four, he has served on the boards of several organizations, including the Las Vegas Urban League, Hispanic Museum of Nevada and Community Land Trust.
"As is the city's standard practice, we will treat this situation as a personnel matter, meaning the facts surrounding it will be thoroughly reviewed," Las Vegas spokesman David Riggleman said in a statement. "Following that review, the city will take the appropriate action."
Brooks' arrest comes a little more than two weeks before the Feb. 4 start of the legislative session. Democrats control both houses of the Nevada Legislature.
"It's a distraction going into the session, but we're confident that authorities are looking into it and taking appropriate steps," Horne said.