HARPER WOODS (WWJ/AP) – The Michigan appeals court says a Detroit-area lawmaker doesn’t have immunity from a lawsuit by a former aide who says he was fired because he rejected sexual advances.

Rep. Brian Banks, a Democrat from Harper Woods, claimed he has immunity to lawsuits tied to legislative business. But the court says the allegations aren’t related to the legislative process.

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Banks’ former aide, Tramaine Cotton, alleges that he was hired as a driver in 2013 but then dismissed a few months later after he rejected a romantic relationship and his duties changed. In response, Banks says Cotton was fired when the lawmaker learned about a driving violation and an arrest warrant.

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The lawsuit, which seeks damages upwards of $50,000, accuses Banks of making unwarranted sexual comments and explicit solicitations throughout Cotton’s employment. Banks allegedly tried to date Cotton several times and performed a forced sexual act on him, according to the lawsuit.

The 3-0 decision, released Friday, affirmed the rulings of Wayne County Judge Susan Borman. The case returns to her court.

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