Yael T. Abouhalkah

Sexting scandal could take down Michael Brooks

Updated: 2013-08-18T23:29:12Z

By Yael T. Abouhalkah

The Kansas City Star

The sexting scandal involving Kansas City Council member Michael Brooks took another bizarre turn Thursday afternoon.

Trapped by reporters outside a City Hall elevator, Brooks alleged that the female victim of his inappropriate personal photos had tried to blackmail him for $60,000. He said the FBI has been notified.

I sure hope this is not Brooks’ attempt to make himself appear to be any kind of victim in this incident.

Because he’s not.

The real victims are the woman he sexted and the people who live in the 5th District. They deserved far better representation from Brooks, and they did not get it.

This was a highly disappointing performance by Brooks.

Instead of a hard-charging, highly effective council member, 5th District residents (and I was one for more than 20 years) now have someone whose credibility has been shot.

Brooks has at least conceded that he made a mistake with his texting of highly personal photos to a woman who reportedly had sought him out for help as she went through a difficult situation.

Always keep this in mind: Brooks is the one who had the power in this relationship, which again reportedly did not become physical. He’s an elected official and a minister.

But not anymore.

The problems suddenly swirling around him could cause Brooks to lose his job, either through resignation this year or if he’s turned out by 5th District voters in 2015.

Finally, law enforcement officials need to take a fresh look at whether the $15,000 that Brooks helped get for an event involving boxer Floyd Mayweather had anything to do with the sexting scandal.

To reach Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/YaelTAbouhalkah.

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