Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner's former press secretary, Darian Ward, appeared in court for first time Tuesday after being indicted by a grand jury for failure to turn over e-mails.
Her lawyer, Chris Tritico, said that when they submitted information to the grand jury, they did not expect them to indict Ward.
He claims the emails weren't public information
“There is an exception to the public information act and if the request is merely for personal information, it’s not subject to release under the public information act and this request was for personal information,” said Tritico. “It’s our view that under the law this was not subject to release. That is a violation of city policy, not a violation of the Texas Public Information Act. That’s two different things."
Prosecutors accuse Ward of failing to turn over public records to the media following a request.
Tritico said this morning that the state has given them data that's about nine million pages of information to review.
The thousands of e-mails in question about in regards to personal business she did on her work e-mail.
“And, the mayor punished her for violating city policy. That does not make that a crime under the Texas Public Information Act. It’s two different things,” said Tritico.
Ward resigned in January.
Tritico said they will be headed to trial. Her trial has been reset for Sept. 18.
If convicted of the misdemeanor, Ward could face a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.