State Rep. Brian Banks in court on felony charges, says case against him is political

Posted at 4:26 PM, Jun 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-29 23:22:28-04

State Representative Brian Banks has officially been charged with serious felony charges for obtaining a loan with false records.

But there’s a bigger issue - he faces up to life in prison for being a habitual offender.

Defense attorney Ben Gonek says the state attorney general issued the charges on the very last day before the statue of limitations ran out and that this is not about crime, but politics in a heated local race.

In court, before going in front of the judge, Banks told me he’s been targeted because he voted against D Insurance - a lower cost, lower coverage car insurance for Detroit and against the Republican plan for Detroit Public Schools.

The Attorney General's office has issued the following statement in response to the allegations from Banks and his attorney:

The details of this case will come out in the course of the trial.

Banks is facing five opponents in his August primary. But he has the support of fellow Democrats here at court.

Gonek says Attorney General Bill Schuette, a Republican, pulled the political trigger.

He acknowledged banks has several previous felony convictions from 1998 to 2004 for bad checks and credit card fraud, but Gonek says he’s gotten a law degree and turned his life around.

The new charges intensify his legal trouble. If convicted he’d be a habitual offender.

For now, Banks is out on a personal bond.

As of now Banks is not forced to resign his seat in Lansing. That wouldn’t happen until he’s convicted.

His defense attorney says there’s no victim in this case, because Banks paid back the loan money 3 years ago.