Bishop Suffragan Asked to Resign While Fighting DUI Charges
Heather Cook, Bishop Suffragan in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, was officially asked to resign from her position as she faces charges of driving under the influence. The 58-year-old cook is accused of drunk driving, resulting in an accident that killed 41-year-old Thomas Palermo. Cook cannot officially resign from her order until the church’s disciplinary investigation has ended, but she can choose to step down from her position.
Cook is the first-ever female bishop in Maryland’s Episcopal Diocese and is currently the second-highest ranking official within the diocese. The accident in question occurred on December 27, 2014. When police arrived at the scene, officers had her perform a Breathalyzer test, during which she reportedly posted a staggering blood alcohol level of .22. Her bail was set at $2.5 million, which she posted just over two weeks ago. She is now residing in a drug and alcohol addiction and treatment facility.
Cook has a lot of litigation ahead of her and likely faces prison time. The combination of her extraordinarily high BAC and the death of the victim involved in the accident will make a judge and jury unlikely to have sympathy on her. There is also the potential for the victim’s family to file a civil suit against Cook, which would increase the penalties she has to pay in association with the accident.
When charged with DUI in Maryland, you may be able to reduce the severity of your potential penalties, depending on the circumstances of your arrest. For more information and to secure reliable legal representation during this time, consult the experienced DUI defense lawyers at Mudd, Mudd & Fitzgerald, P.A.