ST. LOUIS – At least ten St. Louis aldermen have called for Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed to resign as of early Monday night following Reed’s federal indictment on bribery charges last week.

There are new concerns that the federal investigation that uncovered those alleged bribes could have city taxpayers on the hook for a tax break deal for the next 25 years.

There are currently 25 aldermen, with three vacant seats. Two of them were left vacant by aldermen who resigned amid the bribery probe.

At least 10 of the 25 have written letters, emails, or social media posts saying Reed has got to go.

From Alderwoman Cara Spencer politely “calling for Reed to step aside …”, to Alderwoman Tina Pihl saying “his trust has been eroded …”, and Alderman Mike Gras emphatically tweeting “HEY LEWIS, DO EVERYONE A FAVOR AND RESIGN ASAP.”

Alderman Bill Stephens (Ward 12) wrote a letter to Reed asking him to resign, as well.

“I can see first and foremost how damaging this indictment, which has direct quotes from Lewis Reed himself, has been for our city; their trust in us, the heart of the city, and the spirit of the city,” Stephens said.

In a recording quoted in the indictment, a gas station developer referred to as “John Doe” used a money counter to count out $2,000 in cash.

“There you go my brother, that’s two grand,” Doe said to Reed.

“Oh man that’s perfect,” Reed said.

Doe said, “We’re going to help each other for the long run.”

According to the indictment, Reed replied, “We’re gonna all grow together.”

“It plays into our worst assumptions about city government,” said 15th Ward Alderwoman Megan Green. “If we’re going to move forward at all, Reed needs to resign. As a board of aldermen, we must be moving forward with reforming our tax incentive system, reforming our code of ethics for the board of aldermen, being much more transparent as a board, and we have to do that right away.”

“He’s already robbed enough from the hard-working taxpayers,” Stephens said.

Stephens also called for an entirely new slate of aldermen to be elected in March 2023 when the number of aldermen is cut in half, from 28 to 14.

After his indictment for allegedly taking bribes was announced Thursday, Reed said he would stay in office. His two co-defendants did not.

Jeffrey Boyd (Ward 22) resigned the day after the indictments. John Collins-Muhammad (Ward 21) resigned last month well ahead of the indictments.

The alleged bribes secured up to 25 years of property tax breaks for John Doe at the site of the gas station now under construction at I-70 near Adelaide. The deal is now law: approved by aldermen and Mayor Tishaura Jones, who did not know it was part of an apparent ruse used by federal investigators.

Green said it wasn’t right that city taxpayers are still on the hook for a tax package in an investigation that has apparently led to charges in another case being dismissed against John Doe for his cooperation in the bribery sting.

“A lot of us at the board of aldermen feel like we have egg on our faces right now,” Green said.

The City of St. Louis’s St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) was looking into whether it might somehow be possible for the city to get out of the 25-year tax abatement deal, Green said.

On Monday evening, a Reed’s office released the following statement:

“Since appearing in court last Thursday, President Reed has been working to gain legal clarity on a transition of authority of critical functions of the Board of Aldermen President’s Office to the Vice President of the Board of Aldermen. The Office of the President includes numerous legislative functions as well as executive functions that are governed by the City’s Charter. To assure a seamless transition and minimum disruption, President Reed will continue to finalize these arrangements and will provide further updates soon.”

Statement from the Office of the Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed