Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk made her long-awaited return to work yesterday, resurfacing after a battle with depression and proclaiming that's she's never felt better, the Dallas Morning News reports. “I'm excited to be back at work here today,” she said. “I've missed the courthouse, and I've missed my colleagues. These past nine weeks have been tough, but I am stronger and healthier than I've ever been.” Hawk's emergence marked the first time she has addressed the public in person since she stopped coming to work in late July.
The next month, after the Morning News reported that she hadn't been to work in about three weeks, Hawk said she would take an unpaid leave of absence to deal with a “serious episode of depression.” Her mysterious disappearance and subsequent depression announcement fueled courthouse talk about Hawk's leadership. Since taking office in January, she has fired several high-ranking staffers, faced allegations from paranoia to financial misconduct, and acknowledged that she secretly sought treatment for prescription drug use during her campaign. Hawk did not take questions after her 40-second statement yesterday. She said she plans to give her employees and the public the answers they “deserve” next week.