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Darian Ward, mayor's ex-press secretary, faces new charge, complaint says

HOUSTON – Darian Ward, Mayor Sylvester Turner’s former press secretary, has been charged with a misdemeanor for alleged abuse of official capacity, a criminal complaint said.

A criminal complaint filed by Harris County Prosecutor Stuart Tallichet on Friday stated that while a public servant, Ward unlawfully did "intentionally and knowingly misuse government property, government services and things of value belonging to the government."

Tallichet goes on to list “computers, cell phones, email service and internet service and time” as items abused by Ward while working on the taxpayers’ dime.

The complaint stated that the abuse began in March 2014 and ended over three years later in November of 2017. The value of the property and services abused was at least $750 and no more than $2,500, according to the complaint.  

Ward was indicted on July 19 by a Harris County grand jury for failure or refusal of an officer to provide public information.

Last fall, Ward was suspended by Turner and his executive team for misrepresenting the volume of documents associated with a TPIA request. If convicted on the July’s charge, Ward faces up to six months in county jail, a fine for up to $1,000 or both.

The new charge has Ward set to appear before a judge Thursday, according to the summons.