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KCMO councilman Michael Brooks announces resignation

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Councilman Michael Brooks announced his resignation, effective Jan. 2, 2015, during a news conference on Wednesday afternoon.

IMG_20141217_145706112The news conference took place at the office of Brooks' attorney, John Picerno.

"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," read Picerno from a letter written by Brooks, which was addressed to Mayor Sly James, the city manager and council, offering his resignation.

In the letter Brooks also stated that he plans to remain in office until January 2 to complete a few projects and will clean out his office over the holidays. During the conference, however, Brooks himself remained silent.

"Unfortunately, because of the allegations made by his legislative aide Miss Titus, it has been increasingly difficult for Michael to perform his duties on behalf of his constituents of Kansas City," Picerno said.

Titus, who has worked for Councilman Brooks for several years, told police that Brooks assaulted her on Nov 4. Titus said Brooks grabbed her by her hair and dragged her into his office where he proceeded to choke her using his hands and her belt.

Brooks, through his attorney, says he did meet with Titus that afternoon, but tells a very different story. He said Titus wanted to talk to him about her vacation plans over the Christmas holiday.

"At that point, Mr. Brooks informed her that she probably didn't need to worry about that as he was planning on seeking another legislative aid to perform her duties sometime after the first of the year. At that point she began yelling at Mr. Brooks, irate in an attempt to save her job,” Picerno said.

In a letter written to city council by City Attorney William Geary, he sites Titus' allegations of a "pattern of unwanted touching, in some cases amounting to violence against her..." including another incident in March of 2012 and being punched and slapped by Brooks during her tenure as his assistant.

"None of it happened, it's not true and that's really all we are going to add as far as that goes,” Picerno said.

In fact, Picerno says it was Titus who had been in trouble at City Hall, claiming she had been written up and verbally warned about her performance.

In his letter, Geary instructed city council to take up a resolution Thursday and read his recommendation in front of city council, so members could decide Brooks' fate, however, Brooks beat them to it by resigning.

"The decision to resign affective today was to not have to go through the public spectacle of a trial in front of the city council and then potentially a trial somewhere else,” Picerno said.

Right after Councilman Brook's news conference, Kansas City Mayor Sly James gathered the press to talk about Brooks replacement on city council. Mayor James said he hopes to determine the procedure for interested parties to submit an application by the end of the week and have Brooks' replacement in the 5th District seat by the end of January.

This is not the first time Brooks has been at the center of controversy. In 2013, he was accused of misusing $15,000 of city money. The money was used to book a speech from Floyd Mayweather, but the event was canceled and the money wasn't returned.

A woman came forward claiming a relationship with the married councilman was connected to the missing money, but Brooks disputed those claims.