Brian Banks (politician)

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Brian Roderick Banks
Banks Brian.jpg
Member of the Michigan House of Representatives
from the 1st district
Assumed office
January 1, 2013
Preceded by Tim Bledsoe
Personal details
Born November 15, 1976
Detroit, Michigan
Political party Democratic
Parents Joyce A. Banks
Residence Harper Woods
Alma mater Wayne State University (B.S., M.Ed.)
Michigan State University College of Law (J.D.)
Occupation Adjunct Professor, Baker College
Religion Pentecostal
Website Official Website

Brian Roderick Banks is a Democratic member of the Michigan House of Representatives elected in 2012. Banks defeated Scott Benson by 96 votes to win the 2012 Democrat Primary. Although only receiving 42% of the vote in the 2014 Primary, Banks was re-elected. He is challenged by a Republican engineer William Broman in the 2016 General Election after winning the Democratic nomination on August 2, 2016.

Criminal and civil history[edit]

Since 1998, Brian Banks has been convicted of eight felonies.[1]

During the 2012 Primary Election, Banks was evicted from a home in Harper Woods at 19239 Berden by landlord Michele Wood, who took him to court three times for writing bad checks and not paying rent.[2] After the 2012 General Election, Banks was evicted from his Harper Woods home at 20927 Fleetwood when he bounced two checks to landlord Dan Sylvester.[3]

Since his first election, Banks has civil judgements against him in the amount of $47,809.84. He has been evicted a total of seven times in recent years, including two eviction proceedings filed against him in 2016.[4]

Other controversies[edit]

Banks has claimed to be an attorney, which lead Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon to endorse him.[5] Sheriff Napoleon’s spokesman Dennis Niemiec said the Sheriff was unaware of Banks’ convictions.[6] Napoleon said he did not previously know about Banks felonies. The State Bar of Michigan has no record of Banks ever being licensed to practice law in Michigan.[7]

His campaign site stated that Banks was part of the staff at the law firm of Rodnick, Unger and Kaner, P.C. and an adjunct professor at Baker College.[8] An employee at Rodnick, Unger and Kaner, P.C. told the Huffington Post that Banks briefly worked at the firm as a law clerk, but left after only a few months.[9]

Banks has also claimed to be an elementary school teacher.[10] His Biography on the Michigan House Democrats website also lists him as a former elementary school teacher.[11] However, the Michigan Department of Education Online Educator Certification System states that Banks has never held an Educator Certification.[12] Michigan law prohibits convicted felons from being employed by a school, unless independently waived by the Superintendent and School Board.

Banks also ignored requests to pay the company that made his campaign signs.[13]

In 2012, the Grosse Pointe Democrats refused to endorse Banks, despite his request for the endorsement and the fact that he was the Democratic candidate.[14]

In 2013, Banks was sued for sexual harassment by his Legislative Aide, Mr. Tramaine Cotton.[15]

According to Tim Bowlin, director of the House Business Office, the state paid $85,622 to the Dickinson Wright law firm to represent Mr. Banks against the charges of sexual harassment. The lawsuit was later settled for $11,950.[16]

In June 2016, Banks was charged with three felonies and one misdemeanor by the office of Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette for allegedly falsifying information on a loan application to obtain a personal loan in June 2010. Due to his previous felony convictions, Banks is being charged as a habitual offender and could face life in prison if convicted.[17] In August 2016, Banks was bound over to Wayne County Circuit Court for trial on all charges by District Court Judge Deborah Langston. Banks will be formally arraigned in Circuit Court on August 23.[18]

Legislative accomplishments[edit]

Since Banks was elected, Democrats have passed 133 bills into law; many by members of the Detroit Caucus. During that same period, 91 percent of Brian's bills have died in committee. Only 2 ever received votes on the floor and neither passed into law.[19][20]