Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed said he's not concerned with the lawsuit filed against him by the man he claims leaked audio of a profanity-laced rant in 2020.
In February, 1819 News published recordings of Reed espousing inflammatory comments about the City of Montgomery, Gov. Kay Ivey, Maxwell Air Force Base and more.
In a later press conference, Reed accused Charles Lee, a local business owner and founder of a local non-profit, of secretly recording a June 2020 meeting in an attempt to extort the mayor amid national outrage over the death of George Floyd.
Reed claims he met with Lee and others to quell tensions in Montgomery.
During the meeting, Reed claims Lee attempted to extort the city for $30,000 for his non-profit, That's My Child.
In February's press conference, Reed called Lee a "shyster and a liar" and said he would be pursuing legal action against Lee.
Earlier this month, Lee filed suit against Reed, seeking damages for "mental anguish, emotional distress, costs and attorney's fees."
On a Wednesday appearance on the Joey Clark show on "News and Views" on News Talk 93.1 FM, Reed said he was unphased by the lawsuit since it was business as usual for his position.
"The city is, I don't know, named in how many suits right now," Reed said. "From folks who have hit a pothole and say, you know, we tore up their entire car to other things. So, I'm named in lawsuits. Listen, a week doesn't go by where I'm not named in a lawsuit. This one really isn't any different."
He later continued his criticism of Lee, pointing to his lengthy rap sheet and character. Lee has spoken publicly about his previous criminal convictions and prison time, always painting them in the light of past mistakes.
"Don't you have to have character to be defamed or to say somebody's attacking your character?" Reed said. "... I mean, you've been arrested 35 times; I mean, do you really have a reputation to be defamed? Can you be defamed, though, at that point if somebody said you are a hustler, and that's what you've been convicted of? I'm just saying, there is some irony there... I mean, if you don't have any character, I can't defame your character."
Reed said he welcomed the lawsuit, a sentiment he expressed in his press conference when he called for the full audio to be released instead of the small snippets that were initially leaked, though Lee still maintains that he did not record or release the audio.
"I look forward to it," Reed said. "I said that that day. I mean, I've been a judge for seven years."
Reed hinted at his own legal action against Lee, saying, "We have turned that over to the legal authorities."
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