ATHENS—Following his June 3 arrest by Longview Police for online solicitation of a minor, Athens Mayor James “Monte” Montgomery, 63, has resigned effective immediately.
According to the City of Athens Facebook post, Montgomery submitted the resignation June 4.
During a special city council meeting, June 8 the Athens City Council accepted Montgomery’s resignation then convened into executive session to discuss the vacancy.
Ultimately, Mayor Pro-Tem Toni Clay was appointed by council to fill the vacancy in the Mayor’s office during the June 8 council meeting. Clay’s place 1 is now available and a suitable replacement will be named within 30 days.
The City of Athens also stated that they, “Continue to be shocked and grieved by the developments of the past 24 hours and that their primary responsibility is to the citizens of Athens and the betterment of our community.”
Montgomery along with Jesse Bennett Mason of Hallsville, Jordyn Rook of Longview and Michael David Bylsma of White Oak, were arrested as part of a multi-agency sting operation. The departments included Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Longview Police Department, Gregg County Sheriff’s Office, Smith County Sheriff’s Office, Collin County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The operation targeted suspects who were allegedly attempting to solicit sex from minors online. Montgomery was released on a $300,000 bond.
Online solicitation of a minor involves a defendant requesting or engaging in a conversation with a minor and during conversation the defendant solicits or requests the minor meet them to engage in a sexual act. According to Texas Penal Code Section 33.021, Online Solicitation of a Minor is a felony of the second degree.
Montgomery had recently been re-elected as mayor, May 1 for his third two-year term receiving 531 votes against opponent J.C. Cook who received 75.