by: Tony Thomas Updated:
LILBURN, Ga. - A former Lilburn police detective is speaking out about allegations she stole pills from police evidence lockers to feed her own habit.
Kim Banks sat down with Channel 2’s Tony Thomas for an exclusive interview Monday afternoon.
"I never stole any pills. I never took any pills," Banks said. "I have made some mistakes in the handling of evidence. I will fully admit to that."
Her former commanders at the Lilburn Police Department though accuse her of much more, and the District Attorney is considering criminal charges in the case.
"Did you steal anything out of evidence?” Thomas asked Banks.
"Absolutely not," she replied.
"Are you addicted to pain killers?" Thomas asked.
"Absolutely not," Banks insisted.
The details of the probe are listed in an Internal Affairs Investigation report Thomas obtained. Commanders list several instances where fellow officers say they became suspicious of Banks' behavior.
The first noted instance was on March 18, 2013. A Lilburn officer shot and wounded a man outside a Family Dollar store. As a senior Investigator, Banks responded to the scene.
Commanders though say her speech was slurred and she was confused. She allegedly left the scene and didn't return to work until the next day even though the police chief was trying to reach her.
Police had given her written warnings and programs to improve, but then it all came to a head on Feb. 7. That's when records show the officer in charge of the department's evidence room noticed some records in disarray and pills missing.
He immediately became suspicious of the only other officer with direct access to the room-- Supervisory Detective Kim Banks.
Capt. Tom Bardugon confronted Banks in a taped meeting a few days later. Thomas received a copy of the audio through an open records request.
“If I was going to take them I would have taken them,” Banks said on the tapes.
“You did take them. There were 12 total to start with. You have only returned
four or four and a half,” Bardugon said.
“I didn't take them,” Banks said.
“So where are they?” Bardugon asked.
“I don’t' know,” Banks said.
Banks resigned a few minutes later.
Banks said she resigned because she realized she violated some departmental policies in handling evidence, but insists she did nothing criminally wrong.
"At some point in the afternoons I do get more tired and it is due to some medical issues," Banks said.
Jeff Sliz is
Banks' criminal attorney.
"I don't know of anything that I've heard about this and discussing this with her that would suggest there is any criminal activity involved, " he said. "I always known that she's been very straightforward and I've always known her to be very upright and honest."
Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter wrote in an email to Thomas he hopes to have his investigation done within the next few days.
One question lingering for prosecutors and Lilburn police is, were any other cases tainted by these allegations or actions?
It worries commanders enough that they directly asked Banks about it during their taped interview.
“What other cases do I need to be concerned about so we can make amends on the front end, without letting them find out about it in court?” Bardugon asked.
“None,” Banks said.
“You're positive?” Bardugon asked.
“Yes, I'm positive,” Banks said.
For now, Banks said she is simply trying to defend herself and prepare for whatever she may have to face in the coming weeks.
"How do you get through this?" Thomas asked Banks.
"God, prayers and my family that's all I have right now. My career is gone," she replied.
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