|Banks (Detroit News)|
By Brandon Hall
Speaker of the House Kevin Cotter has authorized the House Business Office to settle a lawsuit against controversial Dem State Rep. Brian Banks.
The lawsuit cost taxpayers nearly $100,000-$85,000 to defend Banks was spent on lawyers at the House's preferred firm, Dickinson Wright. Nearly $12,000 was paid to former Banks staffer Tramaine Cotton.
Cotton claims Banks forced him to perform a sex act at a Lansing hotel.
According to Kathy Gray of the Detroit Free Press:
"A settlement in the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against state Rep. Brian Banks, D-Harper Woods, has been reached.
Former staffer Tramaine Cotton of Detroit sued Banks after he was fired in May of 2013, claiming that he was let go from his job as a legislative assistant and driver after refusing sexual advances from Banks. He sued for at least $50,000...
According to Tim Bowlin, director of the House Business Office, the lawsuit was settled for $11,950 and the state paid $85,622 to the Lansing-based Dickinson Wright law firm to represent it in the lawsuit, since Banks is an employee of the state."
Cotton alleged that Banks raped him, among other things. According to Click On Detroit:
"Cotton is a party promoter in Detroit. His lawyer says he resigned from his position with Banks, because he couldn't stand the sexual advances any longer.
Sources in the House's business office say Cotton was actually terminated. In the lawsuit Cotton says Banks forcibly performed a sex act on him at a Lansing hotel.
"There's been no relationship established between these two gentlemen and Tremaine is a grown man. When it comes time for us to respond to those allegations in a legal manor, we'll do so properly," said Andrea Brown, attorney for Banks."
After another Dem State House member, John Kivela, recently tried to evade arrest for a drunk driving charge by using his legislator status without any repercussions, is a pattern is beginning to emerge? Is there one standard for Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat, and another for other legislators?
Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.
>>>Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com