DALLAS - Susan Hawk is stepping down from her position as Dallas County District Attorney after months of absenteeism and a battle with severe depression.
Hawk sent the following letter to Gov. Greg Abbott about her resignation Tuesday afternoon.
Hawk returned to her office for the first time in months on Aug. 11. She had been away while seeking treatment in Arizona for mental illness but returned unexpectedly to meet with her staff.
“I have had constant contact with my administration and my doctors, especially within the time leading up to today and we have decided that I am ready to physically return to my job as the Dallas County District Attorney and continue my commitment of seeking justice on behalf of our community,” she said in a statement at the time.
Hawk declined interview requests and after that point reportedly worked mostly from an off-site location.
Hawk made history in January 2015 when she defeated the first African American District Attorney, Craig Watkins, to become the first woman to hold the position as Dallas County's top prosecutor.
But the DA’s sickness and massive depressive disorder kept her out of the office. She was hospitalized three times in 18 months as part of her on-going efforts to manage the disease.
Hawk eventually came to the conclusion that her mental fitness deserved full-time attention.
“It’s a sad day. She’s given her entire career to the criminal justice system -- this office specifically,” said First Assistant DA Messina Madson. “She implemented the largest DA diversion run program in the entire country, and she put a really strong leadership team in place.”
The deadline passed since for a special election and now Gov. Greg Abbott gets to choose the person who will serve for the remaining two years of Hawk’s term.
Sources told FOX 4’s Shaun Rabb that some possible candidates are former deputy district attorneys Bill Wyrske and Jennifer Balido or one-time district attorney hopefuls Vic Cunningham and Danny Clancy. Madson is also applying for the position.