ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis alderman is in the hot seat again, accused of driving without a license.
St. Louis police cited Alderman John Collins-Muhammad Tuesday for "speeding in a safe zone" and “driving while revoked.”
Fox 2 asked Collins-Muhammad on Thursday if he’d gotten his license. He didn’t answer. Our news crew saw him leave city hall, get into his car, and drive off.
As we followed, reporter Chris Hayes texted him from our passenger seat, “Are you available to talk?”
He texted back, “I’m currently working in meetings,” as we were behind him at the light.
When Hayes told him we were behind him, he declined to talk on camera. We didn’t keep up with him as we saw the posted speed limit of 35 miles an hour.
Alderman Collins-Muhammad called Hayes later, saying he still didn't want to talk on camera but didn't want to give the impression he was avoiding questions.
“I was not arrested Tuesday," he said.
The alderman admitted he has no driver's license and that, after the stop, he called a friend to give him a ride home.
“I always have insurance,” he said, describing his revoked license as “...an ongoing problem.”
Collins-Muhammad said he's trying to come up with the approximately $700 to get his license back.
Why is he driving now? He said he cannot stop being an alderman.
It’s interesting to note that Tuesday’s traffic stop was on Natural Bridge Road - a stretch Alderman Collins-Muhammad helped designate as a “Travel Safe Zone.”
It was the alderman’s second police stop at the same location in the last seven months. Last June, the alderman was ticketed for speeding in a safe zone. Officers also arrested him for multiple traffic warrants.
Collins-Muhammad said he has no outstanding warrants now and emphasized he was not arrested or detained Tuesday.