Updates on investigations uncovered this year by M.L. Elrick - FOX 13 News

Updates on some investigations uncovered this year by Fox 2's M.L. Elrick

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State Representative Brian Banks State Representative Brian Banks
(WJBK) -

There's never any shortage of news in Detroit and 2013 was no exception. With the year drawing to a close, some of the major stories Fox 2's M.L. Elrick brought us beg for an update.  

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to get updates on defense attorney Anthony Chambers, state representative Brian Banks and businesswoman Bellandra Foster


Anthony Chambers was one of Detroit's top criminal defense attorneys. He helped defend the underwear bomber and a former business partner of Kwame Kilpatrick's best friend, Bobby Ferguson.

The attorney discipline board suspended Chambers' law license for six months, but the lawyers responsible for protecting the public from bad lawyers weren't satisfied. So, they appealed.

"In cases like this in the past, the Attorney Discipline Board has said that the discipline should be revocation," says Kim Uhuru from the Attorney Grievance Commission.

The Attorney Grievance Commission's appeal was successful and Chambers was disbarred, so he appealed to Michigan's top court.

ELRICK TO UHURU: How likely is the Michigan Supreme Court to let Anthony Chambers be a lawyer again?
UHURU: I'm not a betting person, but I would say it's unlikely.

Brian Banks is a state rep with a spotty record. He's been convicted of fraud and evicted from nearly a half dozen homes, then he was sued by a former aide who accused him of sexual harassment.

TRAMAINE COTTON: I don't have to come back to this hotel room. There's one bed at the hotel, so you want me to sleep with you? It was just too much.

Cotton's lawyer had a hard time serving Banks with legal papers. Eventually he caught up with him while Banks was meeting with constituents.

DARRYL SEGARS: He admitted that he was Brian Banks. He accepted it and just went back to his meeting.
ELRICK: ((Laughs))
SEGARS: Business as usual.
ELRICK: Business as usual.

Attorney Darryl Segars told me Banks has tried -- and failed -- to get the case dismissed. Segars says Banks has also refused to answer his questions.

SEGARS: The Michigan court rules require that he answer those questions and give me the documents that I ask for in those questions within 28 days of my asking him for them. And he has waited several months. And still nothing.

ELRICK TO SEGARS: What happens if he continues to ignore this matter?
SEGARS: What ultimately will happen, if he refuses to give me the documents that I asked for, and the answers to the questions that I propounded on him, I will ask the judge for a sanction of -- uh, a default judgement against Mr. Banks.

If Banks defaults, taxpayers could be on the hook for any money awarded to his former aide.

The state got some good news this year on another legal dispute M.L. revealed.

Bellandra Foster accused Michigan transportation officials of essentially driving her out of business because of she was black and a woman.

But federal court Judge Nancy Edmunds dismissed this case this fall ruling that Foster had not reached her burden of proof. Edmunds also dismissed Foster's whistle blower claim.

Foster is appealing Edmunds' decision. The men accused of discriminating against Foster did not return M.L.'s calls, and state transportation officials say they are still considering whether to make changes to the way they award contracts.

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