Editorial

ON TOP OF EVERYTHING ELSE, COLLEGE STUDENTS DON'T NEED 'JET' BANKS AT TEACHER'S LECTERN

This article comes from our electronic archive and has not been reviewed. It may contain glitches.

It is a sad end to a long and not-very-distinguished career: Former state Sen. J.B. "Jet" Banks, D-St. Louis, has resigned his office after a guilty plea to the felony of filing false income-tax returns and has received a suspended imposition of sentence. Banks is a 30-year veteran of the Legislature.

The suspended sentence means that while Banks admitted a felony, he won't have one on his record provided he completes five years of supervised probation. In the meantime he receives no fine and no jail time. The judge ordered him to perform 300 hours of community service.

The unpleasant fact is that Banks has never enjoyed a reputation for probity and has spent most of his career staying one step ahead of the law. Banks, who had multiple Social Security numbers and was once the subject of an ouster lawsuit for not living in his district, is believed to be near 80 years of age. Multiple birth dates have been listed for him at various points, and he isn't talking. Banks has been in poor health in recent years, which no doubt contributed to the judge's relatively light sentencing.

One possibility mentioned by Banks' attorney is that he might end up teaching at Harris-Stowe State College in St. Louis. Please say it isn't so. Hiring such a character to teach our state's young people would, to put it mildly, send the wrong signal.