Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk's latest stint at a Houston clinic to seek treatment for depression came immediately after she returned from two weeks of vacation, according to a statement from the DA's office.
Wednesday's statement from Hawk's office was apparently released in response to reports that her car had not been seen at the Crowley Courts building for nearly a month.
Seeking, as her doctors have recommended, to find balance between her work and personal life, Hawk took off between May 2 and May 13. According to her office, she did no work during this time.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Upon her return to work, Hawk felt physically ill, her office says.
"As the week progressed and after appointments with her doctors, she made the decision to seek treatment at the Menninger [Clinic in Houston].
While the issue of her compensation during this time is certainly important, DA Hawk’s first priority is her mental health. She will make decisions about non-emergency administrative matters upon her return.
Currently, First Assistant Messina Madson is running the day-to-day operations of the District Attorney’s Office along with a strong and competent administrative staff. The first and most important priority of the DA’s Office is community safety. We will continue seeking justice each and every day with a commitment to public safety and transparency."
Hawk's return date has not been specified. Her current stay at the Menninger Clinic is her second in less than a year. After her last stay, also for treatment of depression, she successfully fought a lawsuit seek her removal from office. In 2014, while running a heated campaign against Dallas' incumbent district attorney, Craig Watkins, Hawk also sought treatment for a pain killer addiction.