Charles Lee, the man accused of recording and leaking profanity-laced audio of Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed, says he welcomes legal action against him so people can judge for themselves who is telling the truth after the full audio is released.
On Monday, 1819 News published audio of Reed making inflammatory comments about the City of Montgomery, Gov. Kay Ivey, Maxwell Air Force Base and more.
The audio, posted on a newly-created YouTube channel on Sunday evening, appears to be heavily edited. However, the audio shows Reed swearing and discussing his perceived lack of need for the black vote, among other things.
At a Tuesday press conference, Reed accused Lee of secretly recording the audio in an attempt to "extort" $30,000 for Lee's non-profit. Reed stated he would be seeking legal action against Lee but offered little in the way of details.
"We should have prosecuted then, and we should have called into question what Mr. Lee's motivations were," Reed said on Tuesday. "However, it would not be until sometime later that we would learn that there was an audio recording of which I never knew about at the time. And at that time, Mr. Lee again asked for money in exchange for destroying the tape. Now, as an officer of the court for almost seven years, I know what that is, and I'll be willing to testify under oath to what exactly happened, not only that day but subsequent days when this tape was shopped to many outlets, and it was shopped for sale as a way to extort this city and the mayor of this city."
Lee did a Facebook live stream on Monday evening, denying recording or leaking the audio. The video has since been removed.
On a Wednesday posting on Facebook, Lee expressed a desire for citizens to hold Reed to his promise to testify under oath since then the public would receive access to the full audio.
"I love this community and the city of Montgomery," Lee said. "I've been serving this community for over 16 years and will always continue to do so. It is a shame that our city has to deal with all that is happening and what our community is going through."
"The Mayor stated numerous times that he is willing to testify under oath as to the conversation or conversations he has had that are now in question, as to what he meant by them and the truth behind the accusations he has made and statements he says are true. I empower all of you to hold him to that promise and for him to testify under oath, and when he does that, the entire audio and video of the conversation in question will be released so everyone can judge for themselves my character and his."
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