HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Back in December 2017, Darian Ward was placed on a two-week suspension by Mayor Sylvester Turner after she failed to provide thousands of emails requested by local journalist under the Texas Freedom of Information Act.
Emails related to her position and study time and equipment for her side businesses. Two weeks ago, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg launched an investigation into Ward's conduct. During Ward's time as press secretary for the Mayor, emails were sent from her representing several companies including Joy In Motion Productions, a charity she works for named Smahrt Girl Foundation and a submission for a reality series called "Dream, Pray, Hustle."
Mayor Sylvester Turner sent the following statement on Darian Ward to FOX 26 News:
Darian Ward served the city as a key communicator for many years and has our thanks for working in public service. I hope she is successful in her next endeavors.
Mayor Turner also sent the following statement on the announcement of his new interim press secretary Mary Benton:
The addition of Mary Benton to our team brings even more experience and expertise to our work of keeping Houstonian's informed about their government's many actions on their behalf, such as reducing flooding, restoring the city's financial health, leveraging our status as a welcoming community that is the nation's most diverse, and much, much more.
Houston City Council member Dwight Boykins also commented saying, "I do know Mary Benton brings the vast majority of experience to the office, she worked for one of the TV stations and I think she's known around the City of Houston as a person with integrity and I just wish Mary the best as well".