A former Lilburn Police detective who resigned in February after she was accused of taking drugs from the evidence room is now facing criminal charges.
Kim Banks turned herself in overnight Monday on charges of drug possession and violating her oath of office.
“My investigators found her in possession of the substance; they personally observed it,” says Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter.
He tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish he held off on filing charges until now after unsuccessfully attempting to make a deal with Banks’ attorney Jeff Sliz.
“My client has steadfastly contended that she did nothing wrong… nothing illegal,” he says.
Sliz believes Banks, who was in charge of her department’s evidence room, was simply sloppy in handling some of the evidence. He admits she mistakenly put some of the anti-anxiety pills in her purse during one particularly hectic day when she was counting them to take to the GBI crime lab.
“At what point does she stop having the authority to handle the drugs and have them in her possession in her job; and then she becomes guilty of a crime of possessing these same drugs,” says Sliz.
He says Banks had an exemplary record during her 17 years with the department and believes the city simply wanted her gone.
“(She) never missed any drugs--never had anything disappear and they want their pound of flesh,” says Sliz.
In a statement, the Lilburn Police Department defends its policy surrounding evidence storage and says it was those rules that led to the discovery of the theft of the drugs. An internal affairs investigation as well as one conducted by the GBI found Banks was the only person who was taking the property.
It also says the Georgia Chiefs of Police inspected the department’s property and evidence policies in May and found them to be compliance with state certification standards.
“The Lilburn Police Department is deeply saddened by the actions of someone who was once regarded as a loyal and dedicated member of the Department.”