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Verify: Will federally indicted St. Louis alderman still get a pension?

Alderman John Collins-Muhammad, Jeffrey Boyd and former Aldermanic President, Lewis Reed were indicted on federal corruption charges.

ST. LOUIS — It has been more than two months since scandal rocked the St. Louis Board of Aldermen.

On June 2, Federal prosecutors revealed explosive allegations of bribery, theft and corruption reaching the highest levels of St. Louis City Hall in a 66-page indictment.

The charging documents allege St. Louis Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed, Housing and Urban Development Zoning Committee Chairman Jeffrey Boyd and former Alderman John Collins-Muhammad accepted cash payments and other gifts in exchange for proposed tax breaks and development project approvals in the city's north side.

Since then, Boyd and Reed resigned their positions as all three await trial.

There are many questions left after the indictments, and a 5 On Your Side viewer wanted to know if the three aldermen would be able to collect a pension.

THE QUESTION:

5 On Your Side viewer, Linda, asked the verify team: Will Lewis Reed, Jeffrey Boyd and John Collins-Muhammad still collect a pension?

THE SOURCES:

-John Moten; Interim Secretary of Personnel for the City of St. Louis and a member of the Board of Trustees for the St. Louis Employees Retirement System

-U.S. Attorney’s Office

-the federal indictment

-Missouri law

THE ANSWER: 

We can verify if Lewis Reed and Jeffrey Boyd are convicted of a felony they will receive part of their pension.  We can also verify if John Collins-Muhammad is convicted of a felony he will not receive a pension.

WHAT WE FOUND:

Moten confirmed all three of these men are entitled to a pension benefit.

However, that could change depending on the outcome of their case.

All three men are charged with felonies.

Missouri law says if they are convicted of a felony- they do not receive pension pay for work performed after Aug. 28, 2014.

They will get pension pay for work performed before Aug. 28, 2014, whether they are convicted or not.

Why Aug. 28, 2014? That’s when law (105.669(3) RSMo) went into effect. It states plan participants convicted of a felony are ineligible for retirement benefits.

If these three defendants are convicted, who still gets partially paid?

Lewis Reed got to city hall in 1999. Therefore, he’s eligible to still receive the pension earned for work prior to Aug. 28, 2014.

Jeffrey Boyd was first elected in 2003 so he’ll also receive part of his pension.

But, John Collins-Muhammad became an alderman in 2017. He would not receive any retirement pay.

How much money Reed and Boyd will receive is a closed record until they begin receiving benefits.

St. Louis city employees do not contribute to the retirement system.

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