Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk held her first town hall meeting on Monday night since being treated for severe depression.
Hawk left office for two and a half months while she was treated at a psychiatric hospital. She admits she considered suicide during that time.
During Monday’s meeting, Hawk said she hopes to connect with different parts of the community. She spoke for 20 minutes before addressing her absence, and then only in conjunction with the new D.A. effort to steer people with mental issues away from incarceration and into treatment.
A former prosecutor Hawk fired, Cindy Stormer, has filed a lawsuit seeking to force Hawk out of office, citing Hawk’s mental health and prior treatment for prescription drug use.
“It was made clear from the outset from the moderator that the lawsuit was clearly off limits to talk about,” said Stormer’s attorney, Kelly Puls. “I was surprised that she did not go into her prolonged absence. That was kind of surprising. I think that a lot of people out there wanted to hear about that, and I think she’s keeping that in the dark, so…”
There were no pointed questions at the meeting about Hawk’s lengthy absence or any calls for her resignation. She also got some support at the meeting.
Hawk spent a lot of time talking about improvements that have been made in the D.A.’s office since she took over nine months ago.
The meeting was held at St. Paul United Methodist Church on Routh Street.
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