Editorials

Michael Brooks made a wise decision to resign from the Kansas City Council

Kansas City Council member Michael Brooks announced his resignation Wednesday.
Kansas City Council member Michael Brooks announced his resignation Wednesday. The Kansas City Star

Michael Brooks made the proper decision Wednesday to resign from the Kansas City Council. He had lost the trust of his colleagues and many of his constituents.

His move will help improve general public confidence in City Hall. Although Mayor Sly James said at a news conference he had “no real reaction” to the resignation, the mayor must be pleased that it will help end the controversies swirling around Brooks at City Hall.

The latest trouble for Brooks, who has represented the 5th District in southeast Kansas City since early 2011, was alarming: His aide filed a police report that accused Brooks of assaulting her on Nov. 4 in her cubical at City Hall and, a few moments later, in his office.

This week, the city attorney released a memo that told James and the council they would have to decide early next year whether Brooks should be removed from office. The memo did not take sides in the dispute.

Brooks’ resignation, effective Jan. 2, eliminates the possibility of what could have been a public trial of Brooks.

Replacing him shouldn’t take too long. James outlined a reasonable plan on Wednesday that entails asking interested people to apply for a job that would end in mid-2015, when a new council is elected.

James wisely said he would prefer not to select anyone for the interim council post who has filed or is interested in running for the full-time 5th District seat. The mayor said he does not want to give one candidate a “position of superiority” in the race. The primary is in April, the general election in June.

Brooks partly blamed “the ongoing media circus” for his decision to leave City Hall. That’s absurd and self-serving. Brooks has brought shame on his office and on local government. It was time for him to go.

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