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DA’s probe into ex-Lilburn cop complete; decision on charges yet to come

Kim Banks

Kim Banks

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Danny Porter

LAWRENCEVILLE — Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter has completed his investigation into a now-former Lilburn police officer accused of tampering with drug evidence, but a decision on filing criminal charges is likely still weeks away.

Porter said Thursday that his office’s work was done in the case of Investigator Kim Banks, who resigned from the Lilburn Police Department on Feb. 10 amid an internal investigation regarding irregularities with prescription drug evidence. The internal probe was completed on Feb. 21 and, according to documents, found “clear and convincing evidence” that Banks was connected to missing pills seized in various Lilburn PD cases.

The possibility of criminal charges being brought against Banks, who maintains her innocence, remains up in the air.

Porter wouldn’t tip his hand one way or another — at least explicitly — but said a decision would be made sometime “in the next weeks.”

“We have done all of our interviews and gathered evidence,” Porter wrote in an email. “Now we’ll decide which charges are appropriate.”

According to documents previously obtained via open records laws, authorities believe Banks, a 15-year veteran with Lilburn police, is tied directly to at least four incidents of missing pills.

The instance that triggered a coworker’s suspicion involved an evidence bag originally containing 12 pills of carisoprodol, a muscle relaxer commonly known as Soma. The missing prescription bottle was later found, but contained only 5.5 pills, police said.

Other drug evidence allegedly found in Banks’ office included an empty bag supposed to contain three pills of lorazepam (typically used to treat anxiety and panic disorders), as well as another bag that was marked to contain five Xanax pills but held only 1.5.

Coworkers and supervisors had reportedly noticed Banks’ odd behavior and declining performance for nearly a year.

Defense attorney Jeffrey Sliz, who is representing Banks, could not be reached Thursday afternoon. A representative from his law firm said he was not in the office. Attempts to contact Banks directly have been unsuccessful.

According to the internal investigation, Banks told authorities that the irregularities were the result of “sloppy police work” and denied any wrongdoing.

Lilburn police officials have said they do not expect Banks’ alleged actions to affect the prosecution of any of the department’s cases. Defense attorneys representing clients in two cases mentioned in the report declined comment this week, though one said he was “looking to see how this affects our case.”