Fort Worth Lawyers to Seek Dallas DA Removal

Fort Worth lawyers are preparing a lawsuit to remove Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk.

A fired Hawk employee hired attorney Kelly Puls and his legal partner Mark Haney to pursue the removal petition against Hawk.

"We're saying that she's unfit and she's done illegal acts," Puls said.

Puls' client, Cindy Stormer, was terminated in September by first Assistant DA Messina Madson for what Madson described as "incompetence" while Hawk was in Houston receiving mental health treatment.

Stormer accused Hawk of mismanagement and misuse of public money. Puls said he is also hearing from other people with accusations about Hawk which he is adding to the pending petition.

"We just feel that based on everything that we've seen, the totality of circumstances, she's inappropriate to be the district attorney of Dallas County," Puls said.

After taking office in January, Hawk fired or forced the resignation of at least six high ranking employees.

Since returning from two months of medical leave last week for an episode of severe depression, Hawk offered just one of those employees the opportunity to return. Former Chief Investigator Jeff Savage said he is still considering the offer.

In an exclusive interview with NBC 5 and The Dallas Morning News Wednesday, Hawk said she does not regret the other terminations but vowed to be better at her job now.

"I don't want anybody to walk into their job, walk into the office, and feel fearful of losing their job. That's not going to happen," Hawk said.

One of the first to be fired was former Chief Assistant District Attorney Bill Wirskye, a key Hawk campaign supporter and the lead special prosecutor in the Kaufman County DA murder trial of defendant Eric Williams.

Wirskye joined the Collin County District Attorney's office after Hawk fired him. Wirskye declined comment Thursday on Hawk's remarks.

Dallas County Commissioner Mike Cantrell said he was very impressed with Hawk's NBC 5 interview.

"I think she conducted herself well. She looks very healthy, very confident and I think she's back. That's the Susan that I know," Cantrell said.

County commissioners review district attorney budget and financial issues, and Cantrell said the DA's office ran fine in her absence.

"She had people in place in all of the different positions," Cantrell said. "To my knowledge, the DA's office never missed a beat."

And Cantrell said auditors are currently reviewing finances of the DA's office.

"I haven't seen anything come forward that would cause me to be concerned. There's been some allegations. The auditors are in. They'll be looking at what's taken place and we'll see what that says. The proof is in the pudding," Cantrell said.

Hawk's current chief assistant, Messina Madson, issued a statement about the pending removal petition:

"Judge Hawk respects the process; however, her focus is on getting back to work. Our office is stronger than ever and plans to move on in our efforts to serve the community," the statement said.

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