Former city manager files lawsuit

One year after his dismissal as city manager, Mike Ahrens vs. City of Mount Pleasant is now a case pending in federal court.

   Filed July 23 in the Texarkana division of the Eastern District of Texas, the two parties will appear before Honorable U.S. District Judge Robert W. Schroeder, III.

   The plaintiff’s complaint contends Ahrens disclosed to Mount Pleasant City Council members at the June 19, 2019 meeting that due to a recent cancer diagnosis he would need to undergo extensive treatments and possible surgery over a period of several months. 

    At the next scheduled city Council meeting July 2, 2019, an executive session agenda item called for a discussion regarding Ahrens’ employment. Following executive session, council members took action and voted 3-2 (for: Tim Dale, Sherry Spruill and Jerry Walker; against: Brian Heavner and Michael McGahee) to fire Ahrens. The split vote dismissed Ahrens from the position he had held for over 10 years. Ahrens’ complaint further alleges the termination was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and is seeking damages. Ahrens now works as Assistant City Manager for Webster, a city just south of downtown Houston

    Ahrens is represented by Bill Hommel of Hommel Law Firm in Tyler. Hommel’s clientele includes individuals with employment disputes against present and former employers.

   “I generally do not comment on pending litigation matters,” Hommel explained. “My client looks forward to presenting his case to a jury at the time set by the Court.”

    Representatives for the City of Mount Pleasant could not be reached for comment prior to deadline.