ST. LOUIS – City of St. Louis alderman Bill Stephens sent a formal letter to President of the Board of Aldermen Lewis Reed Monday morning in response to the federal indictment against him.

Reed was indicted on federal bribery and corruption charges linked to pay-to-play schemes. The 66-page indictment was filed on May 25 in the U.S. District Court of Eastern Missouri. It was unsealed Thursday.

A federal grand jury charged Reed with two counts of bribery. Alderman Jeffrey Boyd and John Collins-Muhammad were also indicted and have since resigned. Collins-Muhammad was charged with two counts of bribery and one count of honest services bribery/wire fraud. Boyd was charged with two counts of bribery and he faces a separate indictment for two counts of wire fraud.

“It is often said that democracy dies in the dark,” Stephens said. “However, I believe that silence likewise contributes to its downfall; not only the silence of the public, but the silence of its elected officials. The City of St. Louis presently finds itself in this very situation.”

He wrote in the letter that he read the full 66-page indictment and told Reed that he “can only conclude that [his] resignation is truly warranted.”

Stephens believes the indictments have caused the public’s trust to diminish.

“I remain firm in my belief that your resignation is necessary so that we may attempt to repair what credibility we might still salvage with the citizens of St. Louis,” Stephens said. “Furthermore I would like to opine that the City of St. Louis needs a whole new legislative body if it is to ever make meaningful progress for its citizens, including a new board of elected officials.”

Click here to read Stephens’ full letter.