DALLAS -- Susan Hawk says she's excited to go back to work, now that a judge has ruled that she's allowed to. Friday morning, a judge tossed out a lawsuit that sought to remove the Dallas County District Attorney from office.
2015 was a roller coaster for Hawk. She started the year by becoming the county's first female D.A., but ended it facing accusations of incompetence and erratic behavior. In between, she went MIA. Her three-week disappearance turned into an 11-week leave of absence after Hawk announced she was being treated for Major Depressive Disorder.
She returned to work in October, saying she was "stronger than ever." She'd need that strength, as she found herself at the center of a lawsuit.
Cindy Stormer, a long-time prosecutor Hawk had fired, filed a petition claiming her former boss should be the one to get the boot. Stormer said at the time, "I don't think two months of treatment is going to fix the problem with District Attorney Hawk."
The gloves came off in that fight just this week. The State of Texas joined the suit, filing a stack of paperwork with some pretty damning allegations.
The defense fired back with affidavits from eleven current prosecutors who say the D.A. office's work has "never been smoother" than it has since Hawk's return, and that removing her would be "damaging."
At Friday's hearing, Hawk's attorney argued the D.A. should be considered a hero for not letting the stigma of her mental illness stand in her way. He compared her to other leaders with physical disabilities, like Texas' wheelchair-bound Governor Greg Abbott.
Following the decision, Hawk told reporters, "This also shows that folks that have mental illness can be successful, can lead productive lives, and can be leaders."
Apparently the judge agreed. He dismissed the lawsuit - and his decision can't be appealed.
"I can't tell you how ready I am for this fresh start, and ready for me to just get back to work and start working," Hawk said.
Yeah, it's a belated "Happy New Year" for Judge Hawk, who gets to start 2016 with a clean slate to go with her clean bill of health.