Former St. Louis Aldermen Reed, Boyd and Collins-Muhammad sentenced in pay-to-play scheme

Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 5:55 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2022 at 5:56 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – Three former St. Louis City elected officials were sentenced Tuesday afternoon.

Former Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed and former Aldermen Jeffrey Boyd and John Collins-Muhammad each pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges related to bribery schemes.

On December 6, Collins-Muhammad was sentenced to 45 months (three years and nine months) and was ordered to pay a $19,500 fine. Boyd was sentenced to 36 months and ordered to pay a $22,688. Reed was also sentenced to 45 months and ordered to pay a $18,500 fine.

St. Louis City Mayor Tishaura Jones sent the following statement after the sentencing:

“Today, a federal court held Jeffrey Boyd, John Collins-Muhammad, and Lewis Reed accountable for the pain they have caused our communities. These crimes have victims: Their families, who are suffering; their constituents, whose interests they put aside in pursuit of personal profit; and our entire city, which was shaken by the brazenness of the trio’s corruption. City agencies have already taken steps to reform past practices and increase transparency in development work to help prevent abuse in the future. LRA halted sales for the remainder of the year while it addressed its internal procedures, and SLDC is creating a development scorecard for incentives to make this process more clear to the public. We have more work to do. In electing President Megan Green, St. Louisans have emphasized the need to break from the past, which includes reforming our development incentive process to make it more community-driven, transparent, and free of conflicts of interest. I look forward to working with her, the full board, and Comptroller Green to restore trust and integrity to city government.”

Last week, court documents showed that U.S. Attorney Sayler A. Fleming and Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Goldsmith recommended that Reed and Collins-Muhammad be sentenced to 37 to 46 months in prison. They also asked for Boyd to be sentenced to 30 to 37 months in prison.

Also released were surveillance photos that showed money being exchanged with an individual who was blurred. The photos showed the three each individually appearing to exchange money with the unknown individual. According to federal prosecutors, the former aldermen accepted the cash from the informant for political favors and legislation in return.

The indictment further included an audio transcription of Collins-Muhammad’s conversation about the bribes during an exchange with an unidentified person.

John Doe: “What I owe you for this?”

Collins-Muhammad: “25.”

John Doe: [after providing Collins-Muhammad $2,500 cash] “I really appreciate it, my man.”

Collins-Muhammad: “No problem at all.”

Collins-Muhammad: “That’s our job as an Alderman, we’re supposed to help out business owners.”

Court documents say the criminal activity went on from January 2020 through March 2022.

Sentencing is scheduled for December 6.