Susan Hawk made history this year as Dallas County's first female district attorney and the first Republican elected to countywide office since 2004. Perhaps more important to voters: She wasn't incumbent Craig Watkins, says the Dallas Morning News. The anybody-new-will-do attitude sustained her during her initial weeks. Many in Dallas' legal community optimistically observed Hawk's inclusive community-centric approach and ability to appear above the political sagas that cost Watkins the election in November.
That image unraveled in just a few days last week. Hawk fired her second-in-command and longtime friend Bill Wirskye. She acknowledged she had sought help for prescription drug use, after the Morning News reported she had been to rehab in October 2013 during her campaign. Hawk faced accusations of paranoid and erratic behavior, including a strange claim that she accused Wirskye of breaking into her home. Hawk explained the dismissal of Wirskye and another high-ranking staffer as necessary steps to carry out her vision. She pictures a progressive DA's office that, unlike past administrations, makes its mark through crime prevention. “With great change,” she said, “comes many critics.”