Third batch of emails released show press secretary pitching scripted drama shows

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Darian Ward stands against a wall in the city council chamber before a news conference. (KTRK)

In a batch of emails released Thursday from former Houston press secretary Darian Ward, documents reveal her attempts at pitching companies she was helping to city officials. At least one show pitch was included not seen in previous email releases.

This third round of documents is the last of the emails being freely released, city officials said. There are still more that Ward is asking the state's attorney general to withhold.
INTERACTIVE: How the Darian Ward probe unfolded

In Thursday's release, once again the entity that appears the most is the Smahrt Girl Foundation, founded by Pamela Ellis, a friend of Ward's. Ellis runs an IT company in Houston. Again, documents show Ward pitching Ellis' IT business to city leaders, once promoting that the company has had good results working on large government projects.

Ellis previously told ABC13 she never sought out City of Houston business, nor did she ever get any contract with the city. City records show the company never was awarded a contract.
The charity, mentioned more than 3,000 times in the 5,004 pages, is the focus of much of Ward's attention, including a trip to New York with two dozen girls. In a previous batch of emails, Ward tried to get discounted tickets from an airline before being told that the airline couldn't accept solicitation from a city official.

Ward pitched a scripted "southern-styled dramedy" called "High Rise Girls."

"The ring leader is Eve, a former TV anchor who is struggling to find a new identity after her second divorce. She just landed a trophy position as the press secretary for the first lesbian Mayor in Texas," the pitch reads.

At the time, Ward, a former TV anchor, was four months removed from her stint as the press secretary for the first lesbian mayor in Texas.

"Bring your popcorn and champagne for the elevator ride to the penthouse for your window view of sex on the balcony," it reads.

Ward entered into legal agreements to produce a film called "The Game" in Houston and hired a writer to rework the script.

Ward resigned last Friday admitting she had become a distraction. Mayor Sylvester Turner thanked her for her services, but would not say if he asked her to quit.

"That matter has been dealt with," Turner said. "She resigned. I accepted her resignation."

Turner refused to answer the question about if he asked her to quit.

RELATED: Here's why the Ward probe almost never happened

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