Rep. Brian Banks sued for sexual harassment - New York News

Rep. Brian Banks sued for sexual harassment

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Rep. Brian Banks Rep. Brian Banks
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A lawsuit Tramaine Cotton has filed versus Rep. Brian Banks and the State of Michigan alleges sexual harassment.

Click here to read the lawsuit. We must warn you, some of its content is explicit.

I revealed last week that Cotton is a party promoter Banks put on the state payroll as his legislative aide. Now Cotton has told me the job was a sham.

"He basically told me that I would be getting full-time pay and full-time benefits, but I'm part-time," Cotton said.

"His primary job responsibility was to transport Mr. Banks back and forth from Detroit to Lansing," said attorney Darryl Segars.

"Once he got the boss to the office, then what was there?" I asked.

"I would be on Facebook promoting my parties," Cotton said.

Unlike most legislative aides, Cotton said he didn't work on public policy matters or help John and Joan Q. Public with their problems.

"No constituents can say, you know, they spoke with me and I got something taken care of for them or anything of that nature. Like that wasn't my job," Cotton explained.

Cotton said that was okay with Banks.

"I got a raise. I hadn't even been there 90 days and I got a raise. So obviously I was doing, you know, the right thing," he remarked.

Cotton's pay increased to $29,150 last month, but he said that wasn't the only tab Banks stuck taxpayers with. Cotton said he drove Banks to work most of the time, but Banks pocketed the mileage.

"He would fill out his form and I would take it upstairs to the business center for him, but I never got, you know, money for none of that," Cotton said.

Cotton said he could deal with getting cheated out of gas money, but he soon got tired of Banks' unwanted sexual advances.

"When I first started working for him, it was overwhelming compliments. Oh, you look nice. Very nice suit. Nice haircut. Where you get your hair cut at? Nice smile," Cotton said.

Cotton and Segars allege that Banks regularly pressured Cotton to spend the night with him.

"After we left the fundraiser, we go to the hotel, and he's like, 'So, you're really going to stay?' And I'm like, 'I don't want to, but, I mean, if you're talking about I'm not doing my job because I'm not staying up here, I'll chill. I'll stay today,'" Cotton said.

In his lawsuit and in an exclusive interview, Cotton said he let Banks give him oral sex, but it was against his will.

"I needed that, you know, money every two weeks, so I couldn't just walk away from it. So that's the reason why that night I let him, you know, perform oral sex on him. Like, okay, well maybe after that, he got what he wanted, hopefully he would just leave me alone," Cotton said.

I tried to give Banks a copy of the lawsuit so he could respond to Cotton's allegations, but Banks just walked away.

House Speaker Jase Bolger and Democratic leader Tim Greimel also declined comment.

Segars said Banks lavished Cotton with expensive sneakers and cologne.

Cotton said he quit earlier this month because Banks continued to harass him.

"I said, 'I'm done with this. I can't do it no more. Like it's too much. As much as I want the money, like it's too much,'" Cotton said.

"There's really no level playing field here. Brian Banks had all the leverage," Segars said.

"It sounds like at some point Mr. Banks acted more like a jealous lover than a boss," I said.

"Not at some points, at most points," Segars said.

Still, Cotton said he thinks Banks was a fine lawmaker.

"He's a good guy when it comes to, you know, a good mind and the way he want the state to go and laws and things of that nature," Cotton said.

It's important to note that these are just allegations. Banks had not seen the lawsuit until I went to Lansing Tuesday afternoon, and like many defendants, he is choosing not to comment until he is served personally with the lawsuit. That may happen as soon as Wednesday.

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