Prosecutor: Ex-Councilman Michael Brooks faces no charges in aid - KCTV5

Prosecutor: Ex-Councilman Michael Brooks faces no charges in aide dispute

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A special prosecutor will not seek charges against former Kansas City Councilman Michael Brooks. A special prosecutor will not seek charges against former Kansas City Councilman Michael Brooks.
Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd told KCTV5 News his decision during a news conference Thursday. (Brett Hacker/KCTV5 News) Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd told KCTV5 News his decision during a news conference Thursday. (Brett Hacker/KCTV5 News)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) - A special prosecutor will not seek charges against former Kansas City Councilman Michael Brooks.

Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd told KCTV5 News his decision during a news conference Thursday. Zahnd was appointed special prosecutor after a conflict existed in the Jackson County prosecutor's office.

Brooks resigned his seat last month amid the allegations that he choked and assaulted his council aide on Election Day.

Brooks has denied his aide's allegations, saying she made up the story because he was firing her.

Zahnd said this was a classic case of he-said-she-said, and he could not find witnesses to back up either account.

"I don't disbelieve what the victim has to say, but I don't know if I can disbelieve what Mr. Brooks has to say," Zahnd said. "This is one of those cases that's truly a he-said-she-said case."

John Picerno, Brooks defense attorney, said he wasn't surprised by Zahnd's decision.

"I didn't think there was much of a case to begin with," Picerno said.

He said his client is relieved the issue is now behind him.

"It's a shame that the accusations were treated as evidence," Picerno said.

The attorney for the aide said she was still processing the decision. Athena M. Dickson said this has been "a very trying time" for his client and her experience will have "a deep and lasting impact on her physically and emotionally."

Late last year, Brooks said it was best for him to resign his seat. Brooks was to be up for election later this year.

"Due to the ongoing media circus, and out of concern for my family, loved ones, colleagues, church members and citizens of Kansas City, as well as myself, I believe it is in everyone's best interest to take this action at this time," he said in his resignation letter. "Sometime ago, I made the decision to not to run for reelection, and based on all that has occurred, I feel it is not prudent for me to continue my duties at this time."

City Attorney Bill Geary had recommended that the council undertake a public hearing about the allegations and consider disciplining Brooks. Geary had wanted the council to vote on Thursday to set a hearing, possibly as soon as next month. Brooks' aide alleged that Brooks repeatedly initiated "unwanted touching" that escalated into punching and choking her on Nov. 4.

Brooks' tenure on the council was primarily known for self-inflicted controversies.

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.

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 at the time.

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