Banks pleads to misdemeanor, resigns Michigan House seat

Kathy Ryan Staff Writer

February 09, 2017

Detroit — Brian Banks (D-Harper Woods) resigned his seat in the Michigan House as part of a plea deal agreement stemming from charges he committed fraud in applying for a loan from a local credit union.

Banks, who represented Michigan’s 1st House District, which includes Grosse Pointe Woods and Grosse Pointe Shores, pleaded guilty Monday to a single misdemeanor charge of making a false statement of financial condition. Two felony charges of uttering and publishing and one felony count of using a false pretense to defraud or cheat were dropped. He could have faced up to life in prison on the charges because he also was being charged as a habitual offender based on several other fraud charges dating back two decades.

Banks appeared before Judge Michael Hathaway in Wayne County Circuit Court, who set sentencing for Friday, Feb. 17.

Banks was re-elected to his third term in the house in the November 2016 election.

Gov. Rick Snyder will have to call for a special election to fill the empty seat. According to Grosse Pointe Woods City Clerk Lisa Hathaway, the state has set election dates for May, August and November, but she had not received word by press time of a date when the special election would be held.

Banks’ Republican opponent in last November’s election, Will Broman, issued a statement following the announcement Banks would resign.

“Brian Banks should have resigned before the November election,” Broman wrote in his statement. “Detroiters deserve a representative who will fight for them every day to tackle the issues plaguing the district from 48205 to Lakeshore Drive.”

Broman said he has not decided if he will run again for the seat.

“It’s something I have to discuss with my family and I’ll be making a decision once the date has been set for the election,” he said. “But I’m not ruling it out.”

Pamela Sossi, who came in second to Banks in the Democratic primary, also said she will run for the now-vacant House seat.

“It’s time to turn everyone’s attention back to the needs of the district rather than focusing on the representative’s behavior,” she said. “I’m glad he did not waste the taxpayer’s time and money with a trial.”