ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed announced Tuesday that he will step down from his position to focus on his family and “current legal challenges.”
Reed, alongside former aldermen Jeffrey Boyd and John Collins-Muhammad were indicted on federal bribery and corruption charges linked to pay-to-play schemes just five days ago. Collins-Muhammad resigned on May 12, while Boyd resigned after appearing in federal court on June 3.
In a statement released Tuesday, Reed said he was “heartbroken and saddened” to make the decision to step down as the aldermanic president.
“The President of the Board of Aldermen is a unique position with both legislative and executive duties,” Reed said. “With this being such a pivotal time for our city, I wanted to ensure to have the necessary discussions over the past few days to add whatever insight and experience I could to make the transition of my office as smooth as possible. It is essential to assure the citizens have access and the best service available in such a pivotal role. I cannot fulfill these duties as I take the time to focus on my family and my current legal challenges.”
Joe Vollmer will take over as interim aldermanic president until an election in November.
A federal grand jury charged Reed with two counts of bribery and Collins-Muhammad with two counts of bribery and one count of honest services bribery/wire fraud. Boyd was also charged with two counts of bribery and faces a separate indictment for two counts of wire fraud, alleging he sought $22,000 from his insurance company for damages to vehicles he falsely claimed to own.
Collins-Muhammad is accused of accepting bribes and a free car to help a small business owner get approval to build a gas station/convenience store in his ward and receive tax breaks worth several hundred thousand dollars, in direct violation of city and state ordinances.
The indictment is the culmination of a two-year investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in St. Louis and included undercover recordings of meetings and telephone calls, as well as text messages and emails.
Reed, Collins-Muhammad, and Boyd all pleaded not guilty and were released without bond. No future hearing dates were announced.
Mayor Tishauara Jones issued the following statement in response to Reed’s resignation: “It’s no secret Lewis Reed and I have been at odds for years, but I remain disappointed it came to this. The troubling charges brought by the US Attorney pull back the curtain to highlight how those elected may exploit our city for their own benefit and profit; this has been an incredibly dispiriting, but necessary, moment of reflection for our city. I’m praying for the loved ones whose world has been turned upside-down in the past week through no fault of their own.”
Comptroller Darlene Green also released a statement: “We are grateful that Mr. Reed has decided to do the right thing; and with his resignation, the city can now move forward.”
You can read Reed’s full statement below: