Today, oft-absent Dallas County District Attorney, Susan Hawk, resigned from office. She has battled drug addiction and depression for at least the last two years, with several stints involving inpatient treatment.
I feel for her mental health issues, having represented several mentally challenged people caught up in the criminal justice system through the years, and hope she gets the treatment she needs. My clients almost never got any consideration from prosecutors or judges due to their reduced mental capacity, so it is lucky for the former DA that she landed on the other side of the system. Mental health is an area that is woefully ignored and often taken advantage of by the criminal justice system.
Though, it does feel a bit disingenuous that she decides to leave at this particular time to work on her mental health, just days after the deadline to place a race for her replacement on the November 2016 general election ballot. Instead, Governor Abbott get to choose her replacement, instead of the people of Dallas County. See, Hawk ran as a Republican, the Governor is a Republican, and Dallas County is a Democrat-leaning county. I’m sure it’s just a lucky coincidence.