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Susan Hawk, Dallas County DA, To Take Four-Week Leave Of Absence Due To Depression

Stella M. Chávez
Susan Hawk, Dallas County's district attorney, at her election night victory party last fall. The Republican ousted two-term Democrat Craig Watkins in a close race.

Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk is taking a four-week unpaid leave of absence due to a “serious episode of depression.”

The news, announced late Tuesday afternoon, comes after a three-week absence from the job.

Her previously unexplained absence had generated many questions about her job performance and the management of her office.

In a statement, Hawk said she had planned on getting back to work this week, but that it’s in her best interest to stay away from the office. Hawk said she plans on returning to work after the leave of absence.

She’s previously acknowledged getting a doctor's help in weaning herself from medication for back pain in 2013.

Hawk, a Republican, took office in January after ousting two-term Democrat Craig Watkins in a close race.

She fired one top assistant and another resigned three months after she had taken office, citing a toxic atmosphere they say Hawk created in the district attorney's office.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.