Aide accuses Councilman Brooks of choking her - KCTV5 News

Aide accuses Councilman Brooks of choking her

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An aide to Kansas City Councilman Michael Brooks accused him of choking her with his hands and her belt.

The aide said Brooks dragged her into his office and repeatedly choked her until she screamed for help. The police report indicates that another city employee may have heard the altercation.

Brooks, a Baptist preacher who previously admitted to an inappropriate sexting relationship that led to blackmail allegations, declined comment on the allegations. On Wednesday, Brooks referred all questions to his attorney, John Picerno.

KCTV5 went to City Hall on Thursday and Brooks refused comment. City Hall security took extra steps to stop reporters from asking Brooks about the accusations. After the meeting, city security personnel, including a top security officer, escorted Brooks to his vehicle in the city's parking garage.

The 45-year-old aide, who KCTV5 is not naming at this time, went to police headquarters to file the report on Sunday afternoon. She said that Brooks attacked her about 4:50 p.m. Nov. 4 while she was working in her cubicle. 

KCTV5 obtained the police report Wednesday afternoon from the Kansas City Police Department, which redacted the name of the alleged attacker. KCTV5 confirmed that Brooks is the person named in the police report by multiple sources within in the police department.

Council members and other top city leaders were told about the allegations involving Brooks, but were ordered to refer all questions to city spokesman Chris Hernandez. Mayor Sly James literally raced away from KCTV5's Jeanene Kiesling on Wednesday when she attempted to ask him about the allegations made by the council aide.

On Thursday, James did address the issue. He said after learning about the allegations that the city has hired an outside company to investigate the accusations. He said once "the facts of that investigation are in then we will act as a council."

KCTV5 asked Hernandez the name of the outside investigator and the estimated costs, but he declined to respond either Wednesday or Thursday to the questions.

The aide told police that Brooks approached her as she was working and he allegedly told her, "I really don't like your hair short or long." The woman said she replied, "I like my hair and my boyfriend don't mind my hair and he likes it this way."

She said Brooks then lunged at her, grabbing her hair by one hand and her throat by the second hand. Brooks allegedly dragged her into his office and slammed the door.

"The victim stated that she was unable to scream because it happened so fast. When the victim was inside of his office, the suspect then sat the victim in his chair and began to choke her with both of his hands," according to the police report. "The suspect then started to choke her with her belt."

The woman said she was fighting Brooks and told him to "leave her alone," and he replied that she could get up.

"When the victim stood up, the suspect pushed her back onto his work desk and began to choke her again with both his hands and the belt," according to court documents. "The victim stated that she then was able to scream and the suspect stopped choking her."

The shaken up aide said she left the office and City Hall. She did not receive any medical treatment.

Sources tell KCTV5 that the witness who overheard the beginning of the altercation in the office area on the council floor was another city employee. Detectives for the Kansas City Police Department were expected to interview key witnesses on Thursday.

Brooks is a first-time councilman who is up for re-election next year. He already has two announced opponents.

The Baptist minister and father of four became embroiled in a sexting scandal earlier in his tenure that allegedly led to him being blackmailed to get city tax dollars for a community event that never occurred.

No charges were filed.

Marquita Henry, who is president of the Foxtown West Neighborhood Association in the Fifth District, said Brooks is dealing with too many personal demons to represent his district adequately.

"Right now he is so busy fighting allegations... that he can't show his face because he is too afraid of the questions that people are going to ask him," Henry said.

However, other religious leaders who work with Brooks through his church said he retains their support.

In 2013, Brooks told reporters he went to the FBI to report a blackmail attempt by the woman he had a salacious online relationship with.

He said he had spoken to FBI agents about her attempt to blackmail him, and would not comment in detail. He said the woman he was involved with tried to extort $60,000 from him. He said they both exchanged lurid pictures.

"The involvement with the lady was a mistake. I've apologized to my family. I've apologized to my church. I've apologized to the council people, and I'll apologize to the public now on camera," he said.

But Brooks insisted that relationship and her blackmail effort had nothing to do with the city funding issued to bring boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. to Kansas City to speak to at-risk youth. That event fell apart, and Mayweather never came and a substitute speaker was not found.

"I want to apologize for the horrible lack of judgement concerning my involvement with this lady. It was a terrible mistake and totally out of line," Brooks wrote.

Picerno reportedly told the Kansas City Star on Wednesday that his clients did not assault his aide and if any charges were filed would vigorously contest them.

Picerno is best known locally as the Kansas City attorney for Debbie Bradley and Jeremy Irwin, whose infant daughter, Lisa, went missing in October 2011.

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