Fort Worth

Trophy Club Town Manager Gets $400,000 to Leave Without Suing

Manager questioned possible conflict of interest involving council member

The town manager of Trophy Club who had raised questions about a city leader's possible conflict of interest agreed to leave his job Monday and not file a lawsuit in exchange for a $400,000 payment and a public statement from the mayor that he served with "great honor, integrity and decency."

The manager, Thomas Class, had claimed whistle-blower protection after suggesting council member Tim Kurtz had an inappropriate relationship with a business that received tax incentives from Trophy Club.

Meanwhile, Kurtz resigned abruptly Monday.

"Mr. Class served the town with great honor, integrity and decency and the town council wishes him well in all future endeavors," Mayor Nick Sanders read in a prepared statement.

Trophy Club posted a video of Monday's meeting on YouTube.

Class served as special agent in charge of the Dallas FBI office before becoming Trophy Club town manager in 2017.

On March 28, Class said in a letter to town leaders that Kurtz had a possible conflict of interest because Kurtz' wife had invested in a company that received tax incentives from the town. The company, Old Town Development, built a restaurant near Town Hall called Bread Winners Cafe.

Class said Old Town Development was sold in May 2018 without notifying the town as required by its agreement.

Kurtz did not immediately respond to a text message about his resignation, but he earlier referred questions about a conflict to his attorney, who denied that Kurtz benefited financially from the development.

At Monday's meeting, council member Greg Lamont said an employment attorney hired by the city had warned that firing Class would be considered "retaliatory" and could result in Trophy Club losing as much as $4 million in a lawsuit and legal fees that could "easily escalate" to $300,000 or $400,000.

"You're a great person with a great reputation," Lamont told Class. "I'm sorry to see you go. You've done a lot for this town and I think in the end you will be proven right."

Council member Eric Jensen voted against the $400,000 separation agreement, saying the language in Class' original employment contract was "clear" and "that's the direction the council should take."

Jensen was the only no vote.

Trophy Club is a city of about 13,000 along Highway 114 about 23 miles northwest of Fort Worth.

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