Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk was supposed to be at Solutions Outpatient Services 21st anniversary celebration to present an award Thursday night. She didn't show up, and the banquet's attendees were told she was sick. Friday morning, she was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the Dallas Public Library's community forum about mental illness, its consequences and stigma. She didn't show up again, and the lieutenant sent in her stead, administrative chief Carmen White, echoed that Hawk was sick, saying that there was "something going around the courthouse."
While that could be true, it wasn't the best clue as to what was keeping Hawk from her commitments. Friday afternoon, the district attorney's office issued a cagey statement announcing that Hawk, less than a year out of a hospitalization for severe depression and suicidal thoughts, was again seeking treatment. The district attorney's office has declined to elaborate further as to exactly what type of treatment Hawk is undergoing.
"According to a study conducted by the National Alliance for Mental Illness, 16 million people in the United States have suffered with major depressive disorder at some point in 2015. Judge Susan Hawk is one of those people, and has publicly battled with this disorder, as relapse is common.
Currently, she is taking the necessary steps so that she can continue to serve the community. She is being proactive with her mental health plan and is determined to stay whole and healthy to insure that Dallas County is safe and thriving.
The Dallas County District Attorney's Office will continue to operate with commitment to justice and public safety. "
Four and a half months ago, Hawk prevailed in a lawsuit that would've seen her removed from office for being unfit to perform her duties. Her attorneys in the case argued that, having sought treatment for her addiction issues and depression, Hawk was fit to continue in office despite the bizarre, often paranoid behavior that led up to her first hospitalization.
"Of course I’m emotional," Hawk said then, after winning her suit. "Just having this behind me, behind all of us. It was like a black cloud that’s over our office. It needs to go away because we are doing fantastic things."
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.