Charles Lee Responds to Mayor Steven Reed’s Accusation of Extortion Attempt

Montgomery businessman and non-profit owner Charles Lee has spoken to WAKA 8 about the claim by Mayor Steven Reed that Lee tried to extort money from the city.

Reed made the accusation at a news conference Tuesday afternoon against Lee, who owns the That’s My Dog hot dog business and the That’s My Child non-profit for children. Reed said Lee is a “shyster, hustler and liar.”


Reed said that in 2020, after the murder of George Floyd and the unrest that was happening in cities nationwide, he turned to community leaders, including Lee, to get their help in preventing violence from breaking out in Montgomery. Reed says instead of being helpful, Lee wanted $30,000 and threatened to turn the Black vote against Reed or even to burn the city down.

Reed says Lee was behind the audio clips circulating on the internet in recent days. In those clips, Reed can be heard using profanity many times in discussing the Black vote, white money, Maxwell Gunter Air Force Base and his ability to go on TV and get investments for the city. Reed says he didn’t know he was being recorded when he and Lee spoke in 2020. He says the clips were manipulated and don’t reflect the complete conversation they had.


WAKA 8 caught up with Lee at Tuesday night’s Montgomery City Council meeting. Lee did not address the council, but shared his reaction with us about the mayor’s accusations.

“The only reason I came here is because I saw a press conference today saying that I supposed to be getting charges and for $30,000, and I’ve never heard none of this stuff before in my life, and I don’t know how after what three years or whatever now, that’s some tapes leaking now, you feel like I’m gonna charge Charles with whatever, cause if I broke the law then, and you are the mayor would, you know. But I’m done talking, and I would never shake nobody down for no $30,000. I’m from Chicago. What is $30,000 gonna do for anybody,” Lee said.

We also spoke with Montgomery City Council member C.C. Calhoun about what he thinks of the audio clips and the claim that Lee was trying to extort money from the city.

“What’s been happening a few days, you know, we just take it with a grain of salt. I think the mirror came out today with a press conference and kind of cleared the air on based on what was said and when you look at what was put out there, you know three years later, you know it kind of gives you what was the motive behind this. So my thing is as the city and the leaders in this city, we are going to continue to work together to move our agenda forward to help the citizens in Montgomery,” Calhoun said.

Reed said he had previously hesitated in pursuing legal action against Lee. Today, he said he plans to take legal action by filing a complaint with the district attorney. Reed said he would be willing to testify against Lee.


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