Two current and one former St. Louis aldermen have been indicted on charges accusing them of taking bribes and misusing their offices for personal gain, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.
Lewis Reed, president of the Board of Aldermen, Alderman Jeffery Boyd, and John Collins-Muhammed, who resigned last month as an alderman, were indicted on May 25, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a news release.
All three men pleaded not guilty during a court hearing Thursday afternoon, KSDK-TV reported.
All the men face two bribery-related charges. Collins-Muhammad also has been indicted on one count of bribery/wire fraud. Boyd faces a separate two-count wire fraud indictment alleging he sought $22,000 in insurance claims for damage to vehicles that he didn’t own.
Collins-Muhammed and Reed are accused of helping a small-business owner receive a property tax abatement in exchange for several bribes. Reed also allegedly received a new phone, a car and campaign contributions in exchange for his help.
The indictment also alleges that Reed asked the business owner for $20,000 in campaign cash as part of an effort to redraw the ward map to protect Collins-Muhammad from activists who wanted to recall him from office.
Boyd is accused of taking bribes to help the same business owner buy a city property for thousand of dollars less than it was worth and to obtain a tax abatement on that property. The business owner was eventually able to buy the property, which was valued at $50,000, for $14,000, according to the indictment.
KSDK reported Boyd’s lawyer said he will not resign as alderman and suggested Reed may also stay on the job.