Pot smoking, reckless driving drunkard…
Maryland’s first ‘female Episcopal bishop’ exposed as hit-and-run driver ‘who killed young father’ two days after Christmas!
- Police say a female 58-year-old motorist smashed into custom bicycle maker Tom Palermo, 41, on Saturday afternoon in Baltimore
- Bishop Heather E. Cook, who was elected to the no. 2 spot in the diocese in September, was named as the driver by the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland
- Maryland records show Cook was arrested in 2010 after reportedly blowing 3X the legal driving limit when police found a bottle of whiskey in her car
- Cook received ‘probation before judgment’ for a DUI charge but no charges were filed despite police having found a marijuana pipe in the car
- Witnesses observed and an official response from the diocese later admitted that Bishop Cook fled the scene before returning 20 minutes later
- Palermo, whose Facebook page proudly displays his custom bikes, was rushed to a nearby hospital before succumbing to his injuries
Maryland’s newly ordained first female Episcopal bishop fatally crashed into and killed a bicyclist before fleeing just two days after the Christmas holiday. Police on Saturday said a 58-year-old female motorist drove away from a scene of mangled metal beside a fatally injured man taking his final breaths–41-year-old father and custom bike maker Tom Palermo. A letter from the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland revealed Sunday that it was their No. 2 leader, Bishop Heather Cook, who disappeared from the fatal crash before finally returning to take responsibility.
Meanwhile, photos from the scene can attest there was no way Cook could have kept hidden for long the evidence her Subaru had been in a serious collision. Witness Jason La Canfora, a CBS reporter who covers the NFL, described to the Baltimore Sun the collision and resulting damages as ‘a massive impact.’ Half the vehicle’s windshield and hood bear deep, fractured indentions from Palermo’s body.
Too young: The victim was Tom Palermo, 41 – a Baltimore bicycle enthusiast who custom-made bike frames as part of his one-man business
‘Bishop Cook did leave the scene initially, but returned after about 20 minutes to take responsibility for her actions,’ Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton wrote Sunday in a letter addressed to the Clergy of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland that was obtained by the Baltimore Brew.
WHISKEY, WINE, A MARJUANA PIPE AND A FLAT TIRE: BISHOP HEATHER COOK’S PREVIOUS RUN-IN WITH THE LAW
No details have been released that confirm or deny Cook’s sobriety at the time of Saturday’s crash and it remained unclear Sunday night whether Cook would face charges of any kind, but state records and a local report from a 2010 arrest indicate the newly ordained bishop has faced drug, alcohol and reckless driving charges once before. In September 2010, nearly four years to the day before she’d become Maryland’s first female Episcopal bishop, Cook was pulled over in Caroline County. Police at the time said she blew a BAC of .27, or over three times the legal limit, when given a breathalyzer. In her car, police said they found a bottle of whiskey, a bottle of wine, and a marijuana pipe reported MyEasternShoreMD.com. Officers also said one of Cook’s tires had somehow become shredded. However, records show that by January 2012 the drug charges were dropped. Cook received ‘probation without judgement’ for the DUI charge. According to the law offices of Eldridge and Nachtman, in the state of Maryland this means: You can truthfully answer you have not been convicted of a crime on job applications, your car insurance does not go through the roof (if it’s a DUI), and (for certain crimes) you can get the matter expunged after successfully completing probation.
‘He was alive after it happened,’ Lora Peters told the Brew at the scene of the crash on the 5700 block of the city’s Roland Avenue. ‘She might have been able to help or call for help if she’d stayed on the scene.’
The local cycling advocacy group Bikemore released a statement on their friend Palermo’s death, which read in part: ‘Tom was a passionate bicycle builder, a father, and a friend to many people who ride bicycles in Baltimore. ‘While details of the crash are still emerging, we know the driver of the car involved initially fled the scene, leaving Tom to die on the street.’
Cook was pulled over by police in 2010 and booked on drunk driving charges after police found a nearly empty bottle of whiskey in her car, on which the tire had nearly fallen off the rim
RIGHT REV. EUGENE TAYLOR SUTTON’S FULL LETTER CONCERNING BISHOP HEATHER E. COOK
From the Bishop’s Office
Dec. 28, 2014
To the Clergy of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland
I am distressed to announce that Bishop Heather E. Cook was involved in a traffic accident Saturday afternoon, Dec. 27, that resulted in the death of a bicyclist, Thomas Palermo, 41. Bishop Cook did not sustain any injuries. Together with the Diocese of Maryland, I express my deep sorrow over the death of the cyclist and offer my condolences to the victim’s family. Please pray for Mr. Palermo, his family and Bishop Cook during this most difficult time. Please do not contact Bishop Cook directly, but feel free to send written notes to the Diocesan Center.
There is an ongoing police investigation into the accident. Several news organizations have reported this as a ‘hit and run.’ Bishop Cook did leave the scene initially, but returned after about 20 minutes to take responsibility for her actions.
Because the nature of the accident could result in criminal charges, I have placed Bishop Cook on administrative leave, effective immediately. I will meet shortly with the Standing Committee to discuss ways we can move forward. Also, I have decided to delay the beginning of my sabbatical to Jan. 24 to be pastorally present in this difficult time.
The Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton
Bishop of Maryland
Source: Daily Mail
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- Grief and anger at scene of fatal bike crash | Baltimore Brew
- Episcopal bishop identified as driver in fatal bike crash | Baltimore Brew
- Full text of Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton’s email identifying Bishop Cook as driver in bike crash | Baltimore Brew
- Woman charged with pot possession, drinking, reckless driving – News from the Times Record – myeasternshoremd.com
- PBJ: Maryland Lawyer explains “Probation Before Judgement”
- Bicyclist, 41, struck and killed in Roland Park – Baltimore Sun