.

Brian Banks Seated in State House Without a Challenge

New state representative for Grosse Pointe Woods and Grosse Pointe Shores takes oath of office despite controversy about his past.

Brian Banks, a Democrat who will represent Grosse Pointe Woods and Grosse Pointe Shores in the state House of Representatives, was sworn into the legislative body on Wednesday, according to MLive.

Banks easily won the newly drawn 1st District in the November election. But questions about Banks’ past—he had eight felony convictions from 1998 through 2004 for credit card fraud and passing bad checks— and other financial problems had some Republicans considering a challenge to his seating, according to the Detroit Free Press.

But on Wednesday, Banks took his seat in the state House without a challenge, according to the Detroit News

A 2010 amendment to the state's constitution bars felons from holding state office if they have a conviction involving fraud or dishonesty in the last 20 years. Some Democrats argued because Banks is a first-time officeholder, this rule may not apply to him.

Phil January 10, 2013 at 11:38 AM
What a joke! Can you believe that we will be represented by someone like this.
Bill IV January 10, 2013 at 02:56 PM
Pretty sad isn't it? Grosse Pointe is now represented by a felon with no known address and someone else from Detoilet. No represenation for us.
Tina Valentine January 10, 2013 at 03:37 PM
This is just wrong and confirms my belief that our government is corrupt!!
Robert Lee January 10, 2013 at 03:48 PM
Article 4 of the Michigan Constitution states "NO PERSON WHO HAS BEEN CONVICTED of subversion or who has within the preceding 20 years been convicted OF A FELONY involving a breach of public trust shall be eligible for either house of the legislature." Looks like pretty clear and simple language! Banks' litany of felony convictions coupled with his recent well documented string of repeatedly stiffing multiple landlords and creditors is a clear violation of the public trust. The guy is undermining the foundations of our financial system by repeatedly skipping out on his debts and rippiing people off. Plus Bank's lied to the electorate on numerous issues related to his employment and litigation status. Shame on Governor Rick Synder, Attorney General Bill Schutte, House Speaker Jase Bolger, and House Democratic leader Tim Greimel for not using the full powers of their respective offices to keep Banks from subverting the integrity of our state legislature! Snyder bears the brunt of the culpability for this fiasco by approving the gerrymandered legislative district boundaries that insured the collective voice of all Grosse Pointers would be quashed in the state house.
GP For Life January 10, 2013 at 04:32 PM
This could be solved through litagation. I am sure there's some dedicated attorney who would take up this cause.
Robert Lee January 10, 2013 at 05:11 PM
The other way this problem could be solved is if any of the Harper Woods landlords, the car dealer, or any credit union or bank that Banks has stiffed will step up to the plate and insist that criminal charges be filed. Hopefully one of the multiple parties that Mr. Banks has bamboozled will step up to the plate and demand justice!
Robert Lee January 10, 2013 at 05:49 PM
Grosse Pointe Shores, Grosse Pointe Woods Harper Woods and Detroit citizens: Don't stand back and take this miscarriage of government ethics without speaking up. Let our public officials know you are outraged at having a convicted felon seated in the state house to represent you! Governor Rick Snyder: Phone: (517) 373-3400 web comments: https://somgovweb.state.mi.us/GovRelations/ShareOpinion.aspx Attorney General Bill Schuette: Phone: (517) 373-1110 email: miag@michigov Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger: Phone: 877-BOLGER-1 email: JamesBolger@house.mi.gov Michigan House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel: Phone:(517) 373-0475 email: timgreimel@house.mi.gov
Robert Lee January 10, 2013 at 06:31 PM
Sorry for typo on AG information. Bill, Schuette's email is: miag@michigan.gov
walden schmidt January 10, 2013 at 09:56 PM
The four key words are "breach of public trust." I believe it is interpreted as being elected, appointed or hired into a position of trust. Does anyone know where he was employed or volunteering when he collected the felonies? I do agree through, it would be worth a legal challenge.
walden schmidt January 10, 2013 at 09:59 PM
I agree, option 1 should always be to file a complaint with the police. Also, do not give into a prosecutor wanting to offer a plea that does not include pleading guilty to a felony. There's an opportunity here and someone has to take it.
Chris K January 11, 2013 at 03:50 AM
Here's the first e-mail from Representative Banks. Is it hopeful that he mentions last that his district has a portion of Detroit, the residents who overwhelmingly voted for him. Does it mean that he will work harder for his skeptical constituents in other parts of the district who aren't so sure a felon belongs in office? We shall see! State Representative Brian Banks was sworn in today to his first term representing Harper Woods, Grosse Pointe Shores, Grosse Pointe Woods and a portion of Detroit in the Michigan House of Representatives. The lawmaker, along with the other 109 members of the Michigan House, took the oath of office during a ceremony at the state Capitol marking the beginning of the 97th Legislature. Joining Banks at the ceremony were his mother, Joyce Banks; his brothers Justin Banks and Joe Holland Jr.; and family friend Carlton Ross. “I’m honored to be a member of the Michigan House,â? Banks said. â??I can’t wait to join my colleagues and get to work on behalf of the residents of the 1st District.” As a former teacher, education is a priority for Banks. He has pledged to restore the state’s focus on our children’s future and fully fund Michigan schools. The lawmaker also will fight to protect seniors, restore fairness to the state’s tax code and work to create new and better jobs. Sincerely, State Representative Brian Banks 1st House District
Robert Lee January 11, 2013 at 02:39 PM
You are right on, Walden! The best option is that one of the parties that Banks stiffed or wrote a bad check to will insist on justice!
William January 14, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Thank you Robert Lee for the contact information. I urge all Patch readers to take the 5 minutes and write the Governor. Given our District boundary, we have no choice other than to accept whatever Detroit decides to elect to the House. That is the first issue, we no longer have any say in the matter. Second, Mr Banks has no business being an elected representative given his background. Let the Governor know! Take the 5 minutes and submit your concern here: https://somgovweb.state.mi.us/GovRelations/ShareOpinion.aspx
Humble Gentleman January 27, 2013 at 08:49 AM
Im sure no one on this article is perfect and never committed a crime. With that being said, I am a law school student who works for a criminal defense law firm. You would be surprised who needs criminal defense from Police Officers to Respected Politicians. Look around you folks, chances are everyone has made a mistake or several. Some involve run ins with the law some dont and SOME PEOPLE DONT GET CAUGHT. I am not a supporter of this guy but I am not a hater. Get well soon guys!
Chris K January 28, 2013 at 12:23 AM
Humble: How about we just dispense with our system of justice. You know, forgive and forget? Not worry about the guys who keep doing the same thing over and over and misrepresenting whether they are paying their rent and passing bad checks right before the election in which they are seeking office? Deceiving voters about their own integrity while seeking to serve them? Heck, let's not prosecute anyone at all. But then we wouldn't need as many lawyers, no would we?
Frank Walshingham January 28, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Well stated, Chris K! I still find it alarming that after Bank's litany of recent scams stiffing landlords, car dealers and credit unions that nobody wants to prosecute the guy.
walden schmidt February 26, 2013 at 01:35 AM
He's back in the news for another NSF rent check. I hope the landlord takes it to the GPW police and files a complaint. Picking up another felony should help getting him removed from office. http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/21347405/state-rep-brian-banks-landlord-says-he-is-owed-rent-money

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