Heather Cook, Episcopal Bishop Killed Biker Driving Under the Influence
Heather Cook was indicted earlier this month on 13 charges. These chargers include the death of a Baltimore bicyclist, homicide, drunk driving, texting while driving and fleeing the scene of an accident. Headlines everywhere having been stating this shocking news as, “Episcopal Bishop Killed Biker Driving Under the Influence”.This 58 year old cleric from the Diocese of Maryland with killing Thomas Palermo, a 41 year old senior Johns Hopkins Hospital software engineer on a Saturday afternoon in December while he was out for a ride. While it is shocking that a bishop killed a biker driving under the influence, what is more shocking is that she left the scene of the accident and left Thomas to die on the side of the road.Heather Cook was formally restricted by the national church on Tuesday from acting as a member of its clergy. Prosecutors say that Cook could face more than 20 years in prison for her offenses. Cook has been in a treatment facility since the accident occurred and is awaiting her trial. Officials have asked Cook to resign from her position due to recent events, as well as event from the past.Since the accident that claimed the life of an innocent man, details of Cook’s past drinking and driving activities have come out. These events are making people raise questions about what Episcopal officials knew about her and her past before voting her in and approving her position. Cook was also charged in a 2010 drinking and driving incident, which the top Episcopal officials knew when they selected her as a candidate. Interestingly enough, they did not bother to share this information with the council group that voted for her. Which while it is a belief that someone should not be judged on their past, it is important to take into consideration when this person is representing the entire group. This tragic event is shedding a negative light on the Episcopalians and how they operate.Initially officials have been reluctant to share details regarding the incident and Cook’s personal life, but officials have recently been speaking more frankly as fellow Episcopalians have been demanding answers. Bishop Eugene Sutton has appeared at several public question and answer sessions on the situation and what is being done as far as consequences for her actions.Many officials and even the Presiding Bishop have admitting to sensing that Cook had been drunk at several functions throughout her time as a Bishop. Some even suspected she was drunk during a pre-consecration dinner, which was two nights before she was officially made a bishop. With this type of behavior being observed publicly by many members, one can only question why none of them stepped in to get Cook the help she needed for her drinking, before she killed an innocent man. The fact is that many people look past the fact that someone has a drinking problem merely, because it is an uncomfortable subject. In reality, if someone would have intervened on her behavior, maybe she would not be in the situation she is in and Thomas Palermo would not be dead.
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