Brunswick city commissioner arrested in connection to fatal shooting

Attorney: James Henry Brooks Sr. charged, released on bond

BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Brunswick City Commissioner James Henry Brooks Sr. has been arrested in connection to the investigation of the fatal shooting of a Brunswick toddler, Channel 4 confirmed Thursday.

Brooks (pictured, below), 59, turned himself into the Glynn County Detention Center late Thursday afternoon. Sources close to Channel 4 said Brooks' wife drove him to jail. He was released Friday morning after posting $5,000 bond on the condition he surrender himself to the Camden County Sheriff's Office by noon Monday to answer a racketeering indictment there.

Channel 4 spoke with Brooks' attorney, Alan Tucker, who said that Brooks was charged with willful obstruction of law enforcement and influencing a witness.

Tucker also confirmed those charges are related to Antonio Santiago's murder investigation.

"He is regretful. I think I've given you a copy of his apology to the community for getting involved in this," Tucker said. "It wasn't his intent to interfere with the investigation. What he was trying to do at the point in time that he was approached at the courthouse was just tell these folks, 'You have a right to remain silent. Don't talk to police unless you have an attorney present.' And I think that was the crux of what caused the problem."

As for the six-count racketeering indictment, it alleges Brooks was soliciting people to pay him money in return for official acts and influencing others in his role as a city commissioner, including getting people's criminal records expunged so they could get hired by the city, and getting liquor licenses.

Brunswick Commissioner John Cason also spoke to Channel 4 Thursday night about the news of Brooks' arrest.

"James Brooks has done some good for the city," said Cason. "I really want to dwell on that. I hope the best for James Brooks' family."

This isn't the first time Brooks has been in trouble with the law.

In January 2012 he was arrested by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation on one count of bribery. He was accused of taking a $300 bribe for a man who wanted his record expunged so he could apply for a police officer job.

A judge denied his bond at the time because he felt Brooks could try to intimidate witnesses in an ongoing investigation.

Then in February 2012 prosecutors added a gun charge against him.

The District Attorneys presented a warrant to charge him with "possession of firearm by a convicted felon."

The Florida Times-Union reported at that time that Brooks had a prior felony conviction for taking out a credit card under a false name.

His attorney said he had a gun permit and was legal to carry it.

The bribery charge was dropped against him when a judge said there was no probable cause to bind the charge to superior court.

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