Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne is quitting her post to join Donald Trump's administration as early as next week, the mayor told attendees of the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament's kickoff luncheon Thursday. Van Duyne didn't say what her role would be in Washington, but said an announcement is coming soon.
"I keep saying next week because I've been told the paperwork is going to be done next week," Van Duyne said. "But next week I'll actually be able to make an announcement."
After serving on the Irving city council from 2004-2010, Van Duyne won Irving's 2011 mayoral election. During her first term, she drew criticism for her opposition to several developers involved in the Irving Music Factory project in Las Colinas. She claimed she was making sure taxpayer money and incentives were being used appropriately. Opponents said Van Duyne wanted to scuttle a project the city had been working on for more than a decade. Van Duyne lost the fight, but she won't be in office for Irving Music Factory's opening, which will finally come later this year.
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Last year, Van Duyne was one of Trump's most prominent North Texas supporters during the presidential election, even writing an op-ed defending Trump after the release of the infamous Billy Bush tape.
After Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton in November, Van Duyne, who announced she would not seek a third term as mayor, was seen visiting Trump Tower. This naturally led to speculation that she might land a job in the president's administration.
During her time as mayor, Van Duyne repeatedly courted controversy, particularly in her interactions with Irving's large Muslim community. In March 2015, she pushed a resolution through a City Council vote expressing support for a proposed Texas law that would've made it illegal for Texas courts to consider "foreign" laws when making a decision in response to four local imams setting up a Sharia-law mediation practice at the Islamic Center of Irving.
Later in 2015, she went on Glenn Beck, helping the TV host push the theory that Ahmed Mohamed, the student who who was arrested for bringing a disassembled clock to an Irving school, was part of an Islamist agenda plot. Mohamed eventually sued Van Duyne for her role in the controversy that followed his arrest, but the defamation claims against the mayor were dismissed in January.