WATCH: Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed Addresses Audio Recording, Calls it “Extortion Attempt”

Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed held a news conference Tuesday afternoon that was televised live on WAKA 8 to address an audio recording of him, which he called an “extortion attempt.”

Reed accused Montgomery businessman and non-profit owner Charles Lee of trying to get $30,000 from the city. Lee is the owner of That’s My Dog, which is a hot dog business, and That’s My Child, a charity that helps children.

Reed says the audio recording came from a conversation he had with Lee in 2020 in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the tensions Floyd’s death brought across the country. Reed says he was trying to prevent violence in Montgomery and turned to community leaders, such as Lee, for help.

Reed says at their meeting at the Alabama Democratic Conference headquarters, it quickly became apparent that Lee was interested in personal gain. Reed says Lee wanted to know where was the $30,000 that Lee said was promised to him by a prior administration.

Reed says he was offended by what he says Lee told him. He called Lee, “a shyster, a hustler and a liar.”


Reed said that Lee made threats if he didn’t get his money. He says Lee threatened to make sure Reed didn’t get the Black vote when he ran for re-election and said that he might burn the city down.

Reed says he was unaware of the audio recording being made of their conversation at that time. He says the clips that have been released have been manipulated and highly edited.

In the clips, Reed can be heard using profanity several times. He says he regrets some of the language that is now public.

Reed says some time later, Lee again asked for money to destroy the audio recording, and Reed says Lee has spent nearly three years trying to sell the audio.

At the time, Reed says he decided to follow advice and not try to prosecute Lee. Now he says he plans to take legal action by making a complaint to the district attorney.

Reed says he would be willing to testify against Lee. He says he would like to see the complete audio recording released.

Categories: Montgomery Metro, News, News Video