There’s not many of us who — if arrested on charges of allegedly threatening somebody’s life while in possession of a .357-caliber Magnum handgun and ammo; committed to a mental health facility after engaging in (literal) swordplay; and arrested once more on charges of domestic violence and fighting with cops — would get to keep our jobs.
Most employers would find that kind of behavior a little too unsettling to allow a person to return to the workplace. And the city of Las Vegas is no different. The Review-Journal’s Ed Vogel reports today that troubled Assemblyman Steven Brooks has been fired from his job as a management analyst for the city of Las Vegas.
Brooks was already on leave, as per city policy. (The policy is a legal fig leaf aimed at avoiding the very real problem of double-dipping and the even-more-relevant problem of constitutional separation-of-powers, the idea that a person who works for the executive branch of government — or its legal creations, such as cities — should not simultaneously exercise the powers of another branch, i.e. serve in the Legislature.)
But now, he’s got no job to return to once the session ends. Then again, the session will probably end for him rather quickly. He’s already on a constitutionally questionable paid leave of absence. Soon, it’s expected a legislative committee will recommend his expulsion from the Assembly for good, although that’s unprecedented action will require a two-thirds supermajority vote.
It’s been said by many that Brooks needs to get help for whatever demons are plaguing him, and that his legal struggles to regain his Assembly seat and defend himself from pending criminal charges are interfering with getting that help. It’s entirely possible that the Assembly’s actions and the city’s termination will, ultimately, be good things in his life, although it must certainly not seem like it to him now. If Brooks has any real friends left, now is the time for them to intervene.