Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk returned to work Thursday after a 2 month leave of absence for in-patient mental health treatment.
Hawk spent about one minute in public Thursday morning outside her 11th floor Courthouse office, facing cameras that were lined up to catch a glimpse of her.
"I've missed the courthouse, I've missed my colleagues," Hawk said. "These past 9 weeks have been tough but I am stronger and healthier than I've ever been. And I know you have questions. The citizens have questions, my office has questions. And I know you deserve the answers which if fully intend to do," she said.
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Hawk said she would grant interviews next week before returning to her office behind closed doors. Staff members said she would be meeting with employees the rest of the day.
The brief appearance left critics and supporters to do the talking for her once again.
Criminal defense attorney Bob Hinton is a strong Hawk supporter.
"When Susan is on her game, she's the best. And everybody gets sick once in a while and that's what's happened with Susan. And she's gotten some good professional help and I know she'll be back stronger than ever. She's just fine," Hinton said.
Republican Hawk beat Democratic District Attorney Craig Watkins in last year's election after Watkins faced years of controversy.
Soon after she took office in January, controversy began for Hawk with employee upheaval and firings.
Watkins' former Chief Assistant Heath Harris wants to know if fired employees will get their jobs back.
"When she made that decision, was she of clear state of mind when she did that, or was it part of the paranoia that she is now labeling as depression," Harris said.
One former investigator was just short of retirement after decades in law enforcement.
Criminal Defense Attorney Harris said he intends to run for District Attorney himself.
"We just want answers to questions that I know the citizens have," Harris said. "And we can't just take her at her word. We need something to corroborate what she's done to regain her stability."
Hinton said Hawk's critics will not sway her performance.
"They're going to be the people who have some other ax to grind for some other political reason, or trying to explain why it is that they were let go for incompetence," Hinton said. "The people who go down there day in and day out dealing with the district attorney's office, they're going to be supportive of her."