Montgomery business owner files claim against city

Montgomery business owner Charles Lee has filed a claim against the city.
Published: Apr. 6, 2023 at 9:14 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 7, 2023 at 7:35 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A Montgomery business owner has filed a notice of claim to the City of Montgomery in which he’s stated his intention to sue for damages caused by alleged defamation from statements made by the mayor.

Charles Lee, the owner and founder of That’s My Dog and That’s My Child, is seeking damages after accusing Mayor Steven Reed of making defamatory and slanderous comments against him. Lee says these comments have harmed his character, reputation and business. This follows the release of profanity-laced audio clips of the mayor. The clips were recorded years ago but were just released this year.

In a news conference in February, Reed said the audio recordings were not only heavily edited, but are also part of an attempt to extort him.

“Charles Lee is a liar, he’s a shyster, he’s a hustler,” Reed said at that February press conference. “Let me be absolutely clear about that. Charles Lee shopped that tape for the last three years.”

Those comments from the mayor are part of Lee’s claim against the city.

Lee and his attorney say Reed’s statements have caused him emotional distress. Lee and his attorney last month asked the mayor for an apology.

“These statements are just not true. That’s not who I am. And those names are disrespectful to me, my family and the community that I serve. So when the mayor calls me names like that, it’s a slap in the face to me and so many young people that look up to me,” said Lee.

A spokesman for the city said they have have met with law enforcement agencies and will not be able to comment further until all criminal investigations into what they call the attempted extortion of the mayor are complete.

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