Breaking News
More () »

Odessa City Council drama continues over consulting firm contract

Odessa Mayor Javier Joven signed an expensive contract in December for a consulting firm before all City Council members were aware of it.

ODESSA, Texas — The drama coming from the City of Odessa regarding how the City Council has handled their business as of late has been a developing story. 

Discussed at a work session on Tuesday, the city council is looking to hire the T2 professional consulting firm, and it looks like it will be costly. 

However, the contract was signed before every member of City Council reviewed it, and that is illegal.

“It’s a mess, we’re the laughingstock of the state," said Odessa City Councilman for District 2 Steve Thompson. 

Odessa Mayor Javier Joven signed a contract into place on December 14th, the day after former City Manager Michael Marrero and former City Attorney Natasha Brooks were fired, to hire the T2 professional consulting firm.

The contract had a $50,000 deposit and a total price of $338,000, with the service provided – in part – to advise and consult the interim City Manager, which is Agapito Bernal. 

Thompson and Odessa City Councilman for District 3 Gilbert Vasquez say they were both unaware of the contract, and that makes how this process was done illegal.

“It appears other people on the council acted on their own," said Vasquez. "I certainly did not see an email, a text, a phone call to alert me that something was in the works.”

The contract was not available in the work session packet either, despite it being on the agenda, which goes against standard procedure.

“No we were not, at least I was not provided a copy of the contract, so I would not have had a chance to see it nor even have an opportunity to discuss it prior to that meeting," said Vasquez. 

Both Thompson and Vasquez have not been pleased with what has occurred recently in the City of Odessa.

“We’re so busy with all this crap that we can’t get the business of the city done and it’s really upsetting a lot of the citizens of Odessa," said Thompson. "I’m getting phone calls and emails every day.”

“It’s just chaotic right now and I’m saddened by it because we’re not taking care of business that we should be taking care of for the citizens of Odessa," said Vasquez. 

A request for proposal, or RFP, must be filed for a search process in order to receive bids that provide options to select a deal that makes the most sense. 

Thompson said that to his knowledge a RFP was not issued, which is also illegal. 

Be sure to stick with NewsWest 9 as we continue to track the latest developments. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out