Odessa attorney files lawsuit against City of Odessa

Attorney Gaven Norris sues the City of Odessa
Attorney Gaven Norris sues the City of Odessa(CBS7)
Published: Dec. 22, 2022 at 9:52 AM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - Attorney Gaven Norris filed a civil lawsuit against the City of Odessa Tuesday, Dec. 22 for what Norris calls “A violation of his rights provided under the Texas Government Code for Public Testimony at an open meeting.”

This comes after a Dec.13 Odessa City Council meeting where City Manager, Michael Marrero, and City Attorney Natasha Brooks were both fired.

Norris says this is the first of several lawsuits that he intends to file against The City of Odessa based on the acts of Javier Joven and this voting block. Attorney Norris says he expects the other lawsuits to come within the next several weeks and months.

Norris’ lawsuit states “The Texas Government Code mandates that any interested person wishing to address the government " the City of Odessa”, by and through the Odessa City Council, shall be allowed to address the council prior to or during consideration of any specific agenda item. And, if this right is violated any action taken by (the City of Odessa) may be voidable.”

In a press release Norris claims:

“On December 13th , while playing political games and refusing to be held accountable to the voice of the citizens of Odessa, Javier Joven, Denise Swanner, Mark Matta, Greg Connell, and Chris Hanie, engaged in a scheme or conspiracy to refuse to allow the Norris and other citizens of Odessa the right to address the City Council on the matters regarding the firing and interim replacing of City Attorney Natasha Brooks and City Manager Michael Marrero prior to or during the council’s consideration of those matters, and prior to the City Council voting.”

He goes on to say:

“At best, Javier Joven acted in a grossly negligent manner in deny the rights of attorney Norris, and the citizens of Odessa to address the council. At worst, Javier Joven engaged in the blatant, intentional, willful, and wanton deprivation of the statutory rights of attorney Norris and the citizens of Odessa. "

In the lawsuit, Norris is asking the Court to declare that the city violated the Texas Government Code’s Open Meetings Act regarding Public Testimony.

Norris seeks to:

  • Void all actions of the council taken on Dec. 13
  • Restore Ms. Brooks and Mr. Marrero to their position prior to Dec. 13, unless and until the City provides the citizens the opportunity to address the council on those items as that right is mandated by Texas law.

The civil suit petition shows that the plaintiff (Gaven Norris) is seeking $250,000 or less, including damages of any kind, penalties, costs, expenses, pre-judgment interest, and attorney fees.

CBS7 was at that council meeting on Dec.13. You can read CBS7′s coverage of that meeting here.