Thursday, September 8, 2016

Dallas County DA resigns amid struggle with mental illness

Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk resigned Tuesday to focus on her mental health after less than two years in office, reported the Dallas Morning News
Her tenure was overshadowed by three long-term hospitalizations for depression and a mood disorder.
"It is with a heavy heart that I must tender my resignation as Dallas County District Attorney," she wrote to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who will appoint her replacement. 
"It's been an honor and a privilege to serve this office and the citizens of Dallas County alongside you, but my health needs my undivided attention. More than my words could express, I appreciate the grace I've been shown as I've tried to balance my health and my duties. This has been a very difficult decision for me. "
Rumors had abounded for months that Hawk, 46, would resign. Some had called for her to step down. Right up to the end, supporters remained indignant at the suggestion she should give up her post because of her prolonged absences. They said no one would suggest Hawk quit if she had been suffering from cancer.
Others said they supported her if she could continue the high-stress job of DA and take care of her mental health.
After three hospitalizations, she decided she couldn't carry on.
"I've dedicated my life to serving our criminal justice system. I believe our office is making a difference and I want to continue that good work," she wrote. "But last fall upon returning from treatment, I made a commitment to step away from the office if I felt I could no longer do my job. Unfortunately, I've reached that point and my health needs my full attention in the coming months."
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