Susan Brooks

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Susan Brooks
Susan Brooks, official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 5th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Dan Burton
U.S. Attorney for Southern Indiana
In office
October 12, 2001[1] – October 1, 2007
Nominated by George W. Bush
Succeeded by Timothy M. Morrison[2]
Deputy Mayor of Indianapolis
In office
Appointed by Steve Goldsmith
Personal details
Born (1960-08-25) August 25, 1960 (age 54)[3]
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Political party Republican
Residence Carmel, Indiana
Alma mater Miami University of Ohio, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Religion Catholic[4]
Website Representative Susan Brooks

Susan Wiant Brooks (born August 25, 1960) is an American politician who has been the United States Representative for Indiana's 5th congressional district since 2013. The district includes most of northern Indianapolis, as well as many of the city's wealthy northern and eastern suburbs. Brooks, a Republican, previously served as the United States Attorney for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana from 2001 to 2007.

Early life, education, and early law career[edit]

Brooks was born to Robert and Marilyn Wiant in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She was raised in Fort Wayne and graduated from Homestead High School. She earned a B.A. from Miami University where she was apart of the sorority Alpha Omicron Pi and a J.D. from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.[5] She practiced criminal defense law from 1985 to 1997.[6]

Deputy Mayor of Indianapolis (1998–1999)[edit]

She was appointed by Mayor Steve Goldsmith in 1998 to be Deputy Mayor. She monitored the police, fire, and emergency response activities. She focused on crime, the criminal justice system, and social welfare issues.

She served on the following boards:

Ice Miller (1999–2001)[edit]

After she was Deputy Mayor, she joined the Indianapolis-based law firm of Ice Miller in the Government Services Practice Group. In 1999, she was named Influential Woman of Indianapolis. That year, she also earned a spot on Indianapolis Business Journal's 40 under 40 list in 1999.[7]

U.S. Attorney (2001–2007)[edit]

In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed her as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. She earned an advisory-leadership role with two U.S. Attorneys General. She focused on mortgage fraud, gun violence, drug trafficking, gangs, child exploitation, and identity theft.

In her first few weeks in office, she charged Dr. Randolph Lievertz of Indianapolis with illegally prescribing OxyContin. She said he was by far the biggest prescriber of that drug under Indiana's Medicaid program. In 2000, he prescribed six times more than the amount of Indiana's second highest prescriber of Oxy.[8]

She earned the Who’s Who in Law in 2002, Super Lawyer from 2004-2008, and Indiana Lawyer Leadership in 2006.

Ivy Tech Community College (2007–2011)[edit]

In October 2007, she decided to resign her position as U.S. Attorney to become General Counsel and Senior Vice President for Workforce and Economic Development at the Ivy Tech Community College. According to their website, "She is responsible for the leadership, direction and development of Ivy Tech's statewide strategies and programming in workforce development. She is an integral part of the state's strategic initiative to develop a trained workforce to attract and retain businesses in an effort to bolster the economic viability of the state."

In 2007, she earned the Sagamore of the Wabash. In 2008, she earned the Touchstone Award and for the second time earned Influential Woman of Indianapolis. In 2011, she also earned for the second time the Who’s Who in Law.[6]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

2012 election[edit]

When she was U.S. Attorney, her Southern District covered two-thirds of Indiana, including the majority of the newly redrawn Indiana's 5th congressional district, after 2011 redistricting. Fifteen-term Republican U.S. Congressman Dan Burton decided to retire. Brooks entered a crowded seven-way primary—the real contest in this strongly Republican district. She had actually entered the race before Burton's retirement. New Jersey Governor and former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie endorsed and fundraised for Brooks.[9] In May 2012, she won the Republican primary with 30% of the vote, just one point ahead of the second place finisher and former U.S. Congressman David McIntosh.[10] With Brooks' election in November 2012, she became the second Republican woman elected to Congress from Indiana alongside Jackie Walorski (the last having been Cecil Harden, who served from 1949-1959) and sixth overall (Democrats having previously elected four: Virginia Jenckes from 1933-1939; Katie Hall from 1982-1985; Jill L. Long from 1989-1995 and Julia Carson from 1997 until her death in 2007).

Brooks won the 2012 election, defeating Democrat Scott Reske with 58% of the vote.[11]

2014 election[edit]

See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Indiana, 2014

Brooks's vote to end the October 2013 government shutdown led members of the Tea Party to support David Stockdale's campaign for her seat. In the primary election on May 6, Brooks trounced Stockdale and his fellow challenger, David Campbell, winning 73% of the vote.[12] Brooks will go on to face Democratic Party challenger Shawn Denney as well as Libertarian Party candidate John Krom in the general election on November 4, 2014.

Committee assignments[edit]


On March 14, 2014, Brooks introduced the Social Media Working Group Act of 2014 (H.R. 4263; 113th Congress), a bill that would direct the United States Secretary of Homeland Security to establish within the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) a social media working group to provide guidance and best practices to the emergency preparedness and response community on the use of social media technologies before, during, and after a terrorist attack.[13]

On March 18, 2014, Rep. Brooks introduced the Cooperative and Small Employer Charity Pension Flexibility Act (H.R. 4275; 113th Congress). The bill would allow some charities, schools, and volunteer organizations to remain exempt from pension plan rules under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code.[14][15] Brooks argued that the bill was needed because "some charities, schools and cooperatives are actually shutting down summer camps, cutting back on services to the community, or raising prices just to meet their pension obligations."[15] The bill passed the House on March 24, 2014.

Personal life[edit]

She currently resides in Carmel with her husband, David, and their two children.[5]


External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Dan Burton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Jim Bridenstine
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Julia Brownley