Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk says she got help to stop taking a prescription drug more than a year-and-a-half ago.
Hawk issued a statement Friday saying a doctor had prescribed her medicine for a back condition.
“I decided I did not want to take it any more, and I got help to quit taking it, and haven’t taken any since,” Hawk said.
The statement comes after The Dallas Morning News reports that friends and colleagues of Hawk said she “spent a month at a rehab center for prescription drug use" during her campaign for DA in late 2013.
Details about the previously undisclosed rehab stint in Arizona have begun to emerge after Hawk fired her second-in-command, Bill Wirskye, stunning fellow prosecutors and hinting at an office in upheaval less than three months into the Republican’s tenure.
His dismissal came shortly after Hawk accused him -- wrongly, he says -- of breaking into her home and stealing an incriminating photo of her, according to a friend familiar with the confrontation, citing it as another example of her bizarre behavior recently around staffers.
In her statement, Hawk said Wirskye knew about her situation, and supported her during her campaign.
“A disgruntled former employee who was fired this week is attacking my character," Hawk said. “The only reason I am talking about this now is to end his efforts to attack my character in retaliation to his firing."
Hawk’s full statement
“A disgruntled former employee who was fired this week is attacking my character," Hawk said in her statement. "Here are the facts: I have a serious back condition. A doctor prescribed me medicine. Over a year and a half ago I decided I did not want to take it any more, and I got help to quit taking it, and haven’t taken any since. My family and friends – including Mr. Wirskye – knew about it, and they supported me in my campaign. The only reason I am talking about this now is to end his efforts to attack my character in retaliation to his firing.”
At recent town hall meeting, Hawk lists goals
Hawk, a Republican, defeated Democrat Craig Watkins in a close race last fall. Last month, Hawk held a town hall meeting in south Dallas. KERA's Lauren Silverman reported:
Hawk laid out the mission statement for her administration.
“The Dallas County district attorney’s office will work to grow trust in the office, to create innovative prosecution and to turn solutions that support each community in their needs and to work each day to prevent and reduce crime," Hawk said.
Then she opened the public meeting by asking how the DA’s office can better work with the community. Many in the audience were concerned about racial profiling. ...
Hawk committed to regular town hall meetings in her inaugural speech. At Concord Baptist Church she promised this meeting would be the first of many, and announced an outreach program with Dallas schools to start in April.
Hawk says the program will be an opportunity to talk with students about law enforcement and the role of the district attorney’s office.
"And let them know that there’s someone from the criminal justice system who’s not just trying to prosecute them and put them behind bars. That we at the DA want to prevent crime and bring awareness to these situations,” she says.
Hawk also stressed her goals of creating a mental health division to serve criminals and to review how the DA’s office prosecutes shootings that involve police officers.