(The Center Square) – The President of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen stated serving the city was “the honor of a lifetime” in his letter of resignation days after being indicted on federal bribery charges.
Lewis Reed, who served as President of the Board since 2007 and an alderman since 1999, resigned on Tuesday and posted his resignation letter on social media. Last week, he was charged with two counts of bribery in U.S. District Court. Also charged in the same indictment were Alderman Jeffrey Boyd and former Alderman John Collins-Muhammad. Boyd resigned last week and Muhammad resigned several weeks ago. Many members of the Board and State Rep. Rasheen Aldridge, D-St. Louis, called for his resignation.
“This was a very difficult decision, but this is what I need to do for my family and to ensure a fully functional city government that our citizens deserve,” Reed wrote.
Board Vice President Joe Vollmer will serve as acting president.
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones stated Reed’s resignation was necessary for the city and the indictment represented a betrayal of the citizens.
“It’s no secret Lewis Reed and I have been at odds for years, but I remain disappointed it came to this,” Jones, who defeated Reed in the primary for mayor last year, said in a statement. “The troubling charges brought by the U.S. 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.”
Reed highlighted several accomplishments in his resignation letter and praised the board’s teamwork.
“Throughout the years, the Board of Aldermen has never worked more collaboratively and cohesively,” Reed wrote. “For the second time we were able to pass a redistricting map with unanimous support. We have been able to come together, share our differences and move forward many pieces of legislation that have transformed our city.”
Jones pledged new levels of accountability and transparency necessary for citizens to be confident in government.
“Let me be clear: This problem runs deeper than a few individuals,” Jones said. “St. Louisans deserve better, and I am committed to working alongside fellow leaders to begin the difficult process of restoring trust and integrity in our city government.”