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Posted on: January 31, 2021

Legal Statement Regarding Public Information Lawsuit

The City of Odessa recognizes and respects the public’s right of access to information.

NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The City of Odessa recognizes and respects the public’s right of access to information. The Texas Public Information Act is a law that determines which information can be made public and information that must be kept confidential. The Texas Public Information Act doesn’t grant unlimited access to all information. Certain information is protected, such as the name and address of sexual assault victims, juvenile records, the addresses of law enforcement officers, and private information like social security and bank account numbers.

In the spirit of transparency, the City of Odessa works diligently to promptly release public information to citizens and media partners alike. However, the press is not guaranteed a right of special access to information not available to the public generally. The ongoing litigation between the Odessa American and the City of Odessa is over this very matter- whether the press should be granted a greater right to public information than the general public. Under Texas law, the City of Odessa has a duty to review all requests and to separate public information from confidential information and release only the public information. The City has chosen to continue to protect the public’s rights and keep confidential information just that, confidential.

Questions should be directed to the City of Odessa’s Legal Department: legal@odessa-tx.gov

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