Maryland Diocese: Bishop At Wheel In Fatal Hit-And-Run

An Episcopal bishop was the driver in a hit-and-run crash that killed a bicyclist in Baltimore

Cook pleaded guilty to drunken driving, and the prosecution of marijuana possession charges was dropped. A judge sentenced her to a fine and probation before judgment on the DUI charge, meaning her record could be cleared if she stayed out of trouble… In an email Sunday, Bishop Eugene Sutton told priests in the diocese that Cook left the scene of Saturday’s accident, but returned about 20 minutes later “to take responsibility for her actions.”

 

An Episcopal bishop who was the driver in a hit-and-run crash that killed a bicyclist in Baltimore [on December 27, 2014] was charged four years ago with drunken driving and marijuana possession, court documents show.

Bishop Suffragan Heather Cook, who is the No. 2 leader for the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, was driving a car that hit Tom Palermo, 41, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, diocese spokeswoman Sharon Tillman said.

Palermo died from head injuries, said Bruce Goldfarb, spokesman for the Maryland medical examiner’s office.

Court records show that a sheriff’s deputy stopped Cook on Sept. 10, 2010, in Caroline County on the Eastern Shore. The officer wrote in a report that Cook was driving on the shoulder at 29 mph in a 50 mph-zone with a shredded front tire. The deputy noted that a strong alcohol odor emanated from the vehicle and that Cook had vomit down the front of her shirt.

The officer wrote that Cook was so intoxicated that she couldn’t finish a field sobriety test because she might fall and hurt herself.

According to the report, Cook registered .27 percent blood alcohol content. The legal limit in Maryland is .08 percent.

The officer found two small bags of marijuana in the vehicle, along with paraphernalia, and a bottle of wine and a bottle of liquor.

Cook pleaded guilty to drunken driving, and the prosecution of marijuana possession charges was dropped. A judge sentenced her to a fine and probation before judgment on the DUI charge, meaning her record could be cleared if she stayed out of trouble.

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