Re-post from Fox 2 News
And it all goes down to this in the city of St Louis Hall soap opera.
Federal prosecutors said hundreds of recorded phone calls show three city leaders took money in exchange for political favors.
St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed, alongside current and former aldermen Jeffrey Boyd and John Collins-Muhammad, were indicted Thursday on federal bribery and corruption charges linked to pay-to-play schemes.
Reed walked out of court Thursday after pleading not guilty. When asked if he’ll continue to serve, Reed responded: “Just like I always have.”
“I’ve been a good steward to the city, and I plan to continue to be a good steward to the city,” Reed said.
Boyd will also continue serving. He had no comment after pleading not guilty and walking out of court. Collins-Muhammad, who recently resigned, also pleaded not guilty.
FOX 2’s Chris Hayes asked Collis-Muhammad if his resignation indicates how he thinks this case might go, to which the former alderman reportedly replied: “No comment.”
Prosecutors said years of recorded phone calls and text messages show the men gave political favors to an unnamed businessman for money and perks.
Court documents revealed one alleged phone call about tax abatement.
Collins-Muhammad: “Apply, and I got you. I can take care of you in my ward. How soon are you looking to build?”
John Doe: “What I owe you for this?”
It led to a $2,500 cash payment, according to court records. In another phone call, the unnamed business owner (John Doe) allegedly said: “You’re saving us plenty of money.” Collins-Muhammad responded: “That’s our job,” according to the transcript.
The federal indictment said Reed later became involved and that the businessman gave Reed $2,000 in cash. Prosecutors also provided a transcript of that alleged conversation.
John Doe: “There you go, my brother. That’s two grand.”
Reed: “Oh man, that’s perfect.”
John Doe: “We’re going to help each other for the long run.”
Reed: “The long run. We’re gonna all grow together.”
The court record also alleges that John Doe, in the presence of Collins-Muhammad, gave Boyd $2,500. John Doe also provided car repairs on Boyd’s 2006 Chevrolet Impala, which totaled $1,611, prosecutors said.
John Doe stamped the bill “paid,” even though it hadn’t been paid. There’s also a transcript of that alleged conversation.
John Doe: “This is for, you know you helped me on the property, so this is toward it, my brother.”
Boyd: “Ok, I appreciate it.”
John Doe: “You know your help, where you helped me over there at the property over there at Geraldine, it’s big time. You understand?”
Boyd: “Oh, there’s more to come. That’s the beginning, man.”
A federal judge warned Boyd and Reed, who will still be working together at City Hall, should be very careful about their dealings together and make sure they do all of it in public.