Brooks says he is taking a leave of absence from Assembly

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Assemblyman Steven Brooks gets a thumbs up from Assemblyman Harvey Munford after talking with him before a floor session Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 during the 2013 legislative session in Carson City.

Published Thu, Feb 7, 2013 (12:12 p.m.)

Updated Thu, Feb 7, 2013 (1:18 p.m.)

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Assemblyman Steven Brooks looks out his office door at the media assembled Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 during the 2013 legislative session in Carson City. Brooks had invited some members of the media to his office for an interview but then declined to comment.

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Assemblyman Steven Brooks sits alone after a floor session Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 during the 2013 legislative session in Carson City. Brooks announced during the session that he would take a leave of absence to address health issues.

Embattled Assemblyman Steven Brooks said today he’s taking a three-week leave of absence for an unspecified medical procedure but that he would return.

His colleagues met the news, which Brooks announced from the Assembly floor, with a scattering of applause.

Brooks' commitment to take time off is being met with some skepticism.

Majority Leader William Horne said leadership offered Brooks paperwork to sign granting him a leave of absence just as the floor session began, but he refused.

"I'm not surprised by anything at this point," Horne said.

Afterwards, Brooks invited a few reporters to his office. But once there, his liaison came out and said Brooks would not be doing media interviews.

In some of his first comments since Assembly Democrats banished him from their caucus, Brooks earlier said he is the “only true Democrat standing.”

Asked for reaction to the Democrats’ decision, Brooks said: “It’s the dumbest thing they’ve ever done.”

Then he added: “No, don’t say that. I love them still.”

Brooks said he has no plans to join the Republican caucus.

“Why would I do that? I just like to fight for my 2nd Amendment rights,” he said, in apparent agreement with a Republican stance. “Other than that, I stand alone. Only God stands with me.”

Brooks was arrested last month on allegations he threatened Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick. He was found with a gun and ammunition in his car. Last week, he was released from a hospital after being detained by police for a psychiatric evaluation.

The Assembly today appointed a select committee to investigate whether Brooks is “fit to serve office.”

Horne will chair the committee of four Democrats and three Republicans. A special counsel will be named to present evidence.

After about a week of public hearings, the committee will make a recommendation to the full Assembly on whether to expel Brooks.

The committee will look “at a variety of things,” including ethical conduct and attendance, to determine Brooks’ fitness, Horne said. Brooks will be “afforded due process.”

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