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Thursday, June 13, 2024 | Back issues
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Bizarre Tales About|Dallas District Attorney

DALLAS (CN) - Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk's fired second-in-command has joined calls to remove her from office, saying he considered contacting law enforcement and the governor about her paranoid and delusional behavior in office, and tried to arrange an intervention.

Ellis County District Attorney Patrick Wilson filed an amended petition and several affidavits from Hawk's former employees on Tuesday in Dallas County Court, including one from former First Assistant Bill Wirskye.

Three weeks ago, Wilson joined former prosecutor and administrative chief Cindy Stormer's lawsuit seeking to remove Hawk from office .

Stormer claims Hawk repeatedly asked her to use public funds improperly and showed "escalating mental illness and incompetence ."

Hawk disappeared from work for two months last summer, after taking office in January 2015. She later disclosed she was seeking treatment for a "serious episode of depression" and described her absence as a "summer break."

Stormer claims Hawk's lengthy absence, several controversial firings of longtime staffers and Hawk's erratic and paranoid behavior indicated a "complete break with reality."

Stormer said in the lawsuit that Hawk accused Wirskye of breaking into her house, "attempting to expose a compromising 'blow job shot' photograph of her," and of using a state forfeiture fund to make a key to Hawk's house.

Wirskye says Hawk confronted him on March 14, 2015 about her accusation.

"Her tone was both bizarre and aggressive," the 3-page affidavit states. "When I asked her what she was talking about, she accused me of calling her mother and harassing her, breaking into her parent's garage, and breaking into her house and stealing a photo of her. (These accusations were all untrue.) It was apparent to me that Ms. Hawk was completely delusional and detached from reality."

Wirskye says he tried to get her to call 911 if she was "delusional enough" to think he did those things.

"Instead she demanded that I call our chief investigators and get them to the office," the affidavit states. "By the time they arrived, Ms. Hawk had calmed down some. The four of us talked and while she maintained that these things had happened to her and her family, she now admitted that she now no longer thought I was responsible."

Hawk later apologized profusely and "begged my forgiveness," Wirskye says.

"We were uncomfortable letting her leave the office that day but felt we had no choice," the affidavit states. "Ms. Hawk and I traded texts later that day. I wanted to check on her well-being and state of mind. She seemed somewhat stable."

Wirskye says Hawk also believed he was taping their conversations and that her phone and computers had been hacked. He tried to arrange an intervention for Hawk.

"The people I spoke with gave me more insight into the nature of Ms. Hawk's condition," the affidavit states. "However, they were unwilling to help confront her about treatment. I ultimately decided to confront Ms. Hawk by myself after she called an unscheduled, office-wide meeting where her bizarre behavior alarmed many employees in the audience."

Wirskye says Hawk's paranoia paralyzed her office. He says she believed that he and her fired administrative chief - former state District Judge Jennifer Balido - were conspiring against her.

"By March, Ms. Hawk began calling long-time employees into her office for bizarre, disjointed conversations wherein she would question the employee's loyalty to her," the affidavit states. "I was summoned into several of these meetings. Afterwards, I would try to convince Ms. Hawk that she should not fire the employee. Ms. Hawk was never able to give any basis in fact for wanting to fire these employees. She would just repeat that she 'knew what was going on around here,' or that someone 'told me things I can't tell you.' It became increasingly evident to me that Ms. Hawk was having periods of complete breaks from reality."

Wirksye says he noticed signs of possible drug abuse by late February 2015, that her pupils were not responding to sunlight through windows.

"Her mood and demeanor was becoming almost exclusively agitated and manic," he said. "Her ability to grasp simple issues and concepts was diminishing. Ms. Hawk would fail to remember important recent events and important items of relevant information. Her paranoia was much more pervasive and delusional. She had stopped appearing at the office as regularly as she had been in earlier weeks."

Stormer said in her lawsuit that Hawk acknowledged during her 2013 campaign that she had been treated for addiction to a prescription drug "similar to Adderall," and that "(t)hose close to DA Hawk have publicly acknowledged that she is also addicted to OxyContin and Hydrocodone."

Wirskye says he was fired on March 23 and that upon leaving the courthouse, he told Hawk's political adviser that she needed to be placed "immediately" in in-patient treatment. Wirskye has had no contact with Hawk since his firing but he has "no desire to injure" her or the district attorney's office. "I wish a healthy and full recovery for Ms. Hawk and all success for the office," the affidavit states.

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