A number of Houstonians are calling for City Press Secretary Darian Ward to be terminated after an investigation of her email records reportedly revealed how much non-city work she did on taxpayers’ time.

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The thousands of emails dating back to 2011 show Ward promoting reality show projects during working hours, including conversations with people working on her city-funded talk show, according to ABC.

Ward also reportedly blurred the lines between personal and professional by sending around 200 emails on behalf of a charity with which she volunteers, additionally encouraging the City to hire someone who worked for the charity founder’s IT company.

During an interview, the company told ABC it never received any city contracts, nor ever sought them out.

Other emails sent from her city account show Ward describing plans for her reality show projects, one of which described a program as “‘Shark Tank’ meets ‘The Apprentice’ in stilettos,” according to KPRC.

During an email sent in 2014, she reportedly discussed a show called “My First Million” about female entrepreneurs, reading in part as follows:

“Here are our finalists for My First Million. We start shooting in January..Pretty excited. I have to see how we can get Verizon involved.”

After the release of Ward’s emails, Mayor Turner issued a statement on Ward’s conduct and subsequent suspension:


“Darian Ward’s actions were unacceptable and against policy. She was suspended for two full weeks without pay and was instructed to cease doing personal business on city time. Any subsequent violation could result in termination. A letter was also sent to all employees advising them of the policy.”


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Ward since returned to work.

You can read a portion of the e-mails requested here, and we’ll continue following this developing story.

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