Council retains Erkin to handle city lawsuits

 

After an executive session meeting, Bay City Council approved retaining Habib Erkin of the Denton, Navarro, Rocha, Bernal and Zech, PC law firm to handle a couple of lawsuits that have been filed against the city of Bay City.

Habib will handle two recent lawsuit cases that have been filed against the city of Bay City. The most recent filing was filed last week by Ronny Dean Reeves, Vidale Leal Rodas, Danyal Sheniel Manning and the Bay City Housing Authority against Bay City Mayor Mark Bricker.

The new lawsuit against Bricker deals with his effort to remove Leal, Manning and Reeves from the Bay City Housing Authority board. It alleges the decision was unlawful and denied the board members due process.

The lawsuit stems from Bricker’s removal of Manning from her position with the board Dec. 14. Commissioner Ronnie Reeves was also removed from the commission on the grounds of “inefficiency.”

In documents obtained from the city of Bay City, Mayor Mark Bricker removed Manning from the Bay City Housing Authority after Manning failed to resign from the post by Friday’s date. 

“As a result of the hearing, there were a lot of factors that were discussed and she has agreed to resign her post by Friday or I will remove her from the position,” Bricker said. 

In a letter obtained from the city, it stated “after much consideration and hearing objections, I do hereby removed Danyal Manning from the Bay City Housing Authority. The cause for removal is due to inefficiency and behaviors that inhibited the interest and effectiveness of long term and daily operations of the Bay City Housing Authority.”

In a letter sent to Reeves, Bricker stated, “it was his observation that the Bay City Housing Authority has struggled to hold efficient operations. After much consideration, I have decided to make changes to the Board of Commissioners in efforts to improve governance, professionalism and productivity.”

Bricker said that Reeves was invited to attend a meeting held Dec. 12 to discuss the city’s concerns with the Bay City Housing Authority but Reeves reportedly refused any meeting.

“It was stated by Commissioner Leal that in a discussion on Dec. 13, that (Reeves) advised her to refuse any meeting with the mayor’s office as well,” Bricker stated in the letter to Reeves. “Your actions and statements attempt to interfere with the mayor’s duties and reflect poorly on the city of Bay City, the mayor’s office and most importantly, the Bay City Housing Authority.”

According to the lawsuit, “Mayor Bricker is assuming the role of a judge when he conducts an evidentiary hearing on removal. It’s improper for him to preside over a removal hearing when he is a fact witness to the very allegation that he finds in support of grounds for removal. Plaintiffs request the right to take Mayor Bricker’s sworn deposition to disprove his false factual accusations and further requests the court require a substitute fact-finder such as the Mayor Pro-Tem to conduct the due process removal hearing.”

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