After five days of public silence following his arrest for patronizing prostitution, Metro Councilman Brady Banks showed up at Tuesday’s council meeting but managed to leave without speaking to media.
In doing so, the 33-year-old, first-term councilman –– who hasn’t talked publicly in the aftermath of his arrest –– confused some council members and Metro officials who witnessed the move. Some weren’t aware Banks had been in the chambers.
“I didn’t know until the cameras were gone that he was even in the room,” At-large Councilman Ronnie Steine said.
“I wouldn’t presume to know what’s in his mind at the moment,” he added.
A few minutes into Tuesday’s meeting, Banks quietly walked into the council chambers and took a seat at his District 4 council desk. He tended to paperwork and watched as the council approved mundane, non-contentious legislation on zoning and other matters.
He was there 15 minutes.
With reporters distracted on the council’s discussion of resolution calling for the resignation of embattled Davidson County Clerk John Arriola, Banks walked outside the door he had arrived through.
Aware of Banks’ departure, members of the media sought out the South Nashville councilman, but Banks managed to exit without saying a word to reporters, leaving open the question of his intentions: continue serving on the council or step down.
Banks’ court appearance is set for March 6.
Intentional or not, Banks’ exit allowed him to avoid weighing in on a nonbinding memorializing resolution that called for the resignation of another elected official, Arriola. That measure passed.
But Banks’ exit, more than anything, created confusion. Attending Tuesday’s council meeting seemed to signal an intention to keep his council seat. But council members weren’t sure why he departed early. Perhaps he wasn’t ready to face the cameras, many concluded, or he wanted to keep his perfect-attendance council-meeting streak in tact.
Asked about Banks’ brief attendance Tuesday, Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors, who presides over the council, wouldn’t speculate.
“Right now, my thoughts are with his wife and his family,” Neighbors said. “I really am trying to give them the space to work through this and make the decisions that they need to make.”
“I think he’s got a lot of decisions to make,” she said when asked if Banks should issue a public comment on his arrest.
The only council member who appeared to communicate with Banks on Tuesday was At-large Councilwoman Megan Barry, who extended a hug to him during the meeting.
“I wanted him to know that I was thinking about him and his family, and I wanted him to know that I’m here to help if there’s anything I can do,” Barry said. “I don’t condone what he did, but I believe that he and his family need support and love right now.”