Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker has asked that a special prosecutor be appointed in the police investigation of Kansas City Councilman Michael Brooks.
Baker said Tuesday that she realized a special prosecutor should be appointed because of the appearance of a conflict of interest within her office. An assistant county prosecutor, Alissia Canady, has filed to run for Brooks’ 5th District Council seat. Brooks has not yet filed to seek re-election to that seat.
Last month, Brooks’ council aide, Tonia Titus, filed a police report accusing him of choking her in his office. Through his attorney, Brooks has denied the allegation.
Police investigated the allegation and have turned over a case file to Jackson County for review.
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Baker said she never had any doubt that she could objectively review the case, but she realized there is the appearance of a conflict of interest.
“To ensure the public’s trust, I felt I had to sign off on this case,” she said, adding that she had not looked at the police file and did not know what the police found.
Presiding Jackson County Circuit Judge Marco Roldan will appoint the special prosecutor, who would determine whether any charges should be filed.
Meanwhile, Kansas City officials hired an outside law firm to do a separate investigation of the allegation on behalf of the city. Information related to that report is expected soon at City Hall.