The Detroit News reports:
Democratic former Rep. Brian Banks of Harper Woods has formed a campaign committee to start raising money for a potential state Senate run in the 2nd District – a seat held by embattled Sen. Bert Johnson, who has been federally indicted over an alleged “ghost employee.”
Banks, 40, resigned from office in February in a plea deal with the Attorney General’s office over an issue involving a fake pay stub to get a $7,500 bank loan.
Johnson, meanwhile, has been accused of funneling money to someone he listed on his payroll but who prosecutors contend did not actually do any work for his office. Johnson has pleaded not guilty.
Banks was elected to the state’s 1st House District twice despite prior criminal convictions. After resigning, he remained politically active.
His most recent push was helping 1st House District candidate Tenisha Yancey – who has a criminal past of her own – win the Democratic primary to face off against Republican and Libertarian candidates in the November general election in a heavily Democratic-leaning district.
Banks also helped Latisha Johnson in her bid for the Detroit City Council and is involved in a political action committee that donates to various political candidates.
Contributors: Jonathan Oosting, Richard Burr and Michael Gerstein