A married Kansas City councilman has admitted to an online sexting relationship with a woman involving graphic text messages after she allegedly tried to blackmail him for $60,000.
Michael Brooks, a councilman for Kansas City’s 5th District, said late Wednesday in a letter to other council members he was sorry for ‘the horrible lack of judgment’ in becoming involved online with the woman.
But he denies the relationship had anything to do with his decision to help bring an event to Kansas City that was eventually canceled and became the subject of a police investigation.
‘It was a terrible mistake and totally out of line,’ Brooks, a Baptist minister who has four children, said of the online relationship in the letter. ‘However that’s where the truth of the story ends.’
Brooks’ comments followed a report Wednesday by KSHB-TV that quoted the unidentified woman as saying she talked online with Brooks. She said some of the messages Brooks sent her included photographs of his naked torso and that she shared the photos last year with organizers of a youth event that was to feature boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Brooks said the relationship with the woman, who was not identified and who he never met in person, did not influence his decision to help get $15,000 in city money for the Mayweather event, which was later canceled after critics said Mayweather was a bad role model because he had been accused of domestic abuse.
The event’s cancellation became the subject of a police investigation because the money was not recovered. Organizers said they had already used the money and were planning a substitute event. Police said in May there was no criminal wrongdoing, and no charges have been filed.
Brooks claims the woman had tried to blackmail him over the nude photos he sent. She asked him for $60,000 to keep quiet, he said.
‘As I have stated before there is absolutely no connection between her blackmail attempt, and the Mayweather event. … I just want to take this opportunity to offer my apology jeopardizing your trust, and for disrespecting my position,’ Brooks said in the message.
Brooks’ lawyer, John Picerno, said Thursday in a telephone interview that Brooks and the woman exchanged emails, texts and spoke on the phone for a few weeks after meeting online last summer. Picerno also reiterated there was no relationship between the canceled event and the relationship Brooks had with the woman.
Picerno said Brooks had already told his wife about what had taken place online with the woman, which would have taken ‘all the steam out of any efforts’ to blackmail him.
‘First of all, the most important thing is this thing with the woman was totally unrelated to the money that was appropriated for the Mayweather event,’ Picerno said. ‘It’s been investigated, and they’re convinced there was nothing inappropriate that occurred with public funds. As far as the private side, that’s between him and his family and his wife.’
Picerno questioned the woman’s motives for talking to the media now.
‘She’s just trying to shake down whoever she could for money,’ he said.