Last August, the Bryan city council placed the municipal court’s presiding judge on administrative leave and did not renew his contract.
Now the former judge has filed a lawsuit seeking between $200,000 and $5 million dollars in monetary damages.
Albert Navarro claims racial discrimination, a continuing pattern of unlawful employment practices, and retaliation for filing a complaint with the state.
The city’s response to the lawsuit filed in Brazos County district court is that municipal judges are not city employees, that Navarro is not protected by the state law he cites in his lawsuit, and the city is protected by governmental immunity.
The city’s response does not state why the council did not renew Navarro’s contract.
The city described the reason Navarro was placed on administrative leave with pay two months before his contract ended was for his “irate and loud reaction to notice that he would not be reappointed”, which “shocked and frightened city employees” who were present. And the city admits the police chief asked Navarro “to leave city premises” “due to safety concerns” “after Navarro’s inappropriate reaction” when he heard he would not be reappointed.
The city also denies Navarro’s claims that he experienced discrimination by being subjected to a hostile environment that included several frivolous disciplinary actions that ultimately resulted in a wrongful termination.
Navarro was in his seventh year as presiding judge and in his 12th year with Bryan municipal court when the council gave notice.
His lawsuit states a city news release containing unwarranted facts has endangered his law license and defamed him to potential new employers…which are claims that the city also denies.
According to online records, the trial judge is scheduled to review the status of the lawsuit July 7.