Bishop Cook was driving with a 2.2 alcohol level, almost triple the Maryland limit of .8.
She weighs 250 lbs.
To get to that level she would have had to have 13 drinks in the hour before she was tested (and she wasn’t tested immediately after the accident).
If she started drinking at 9AM, she would have had to have 16 drinks to have that level in her blood.
She swerved into the bike lane and hit Palermo, who went through her windshield.
She went home and returned to the scene of the accident only after diocesan officials told her she had to.
She is charged with four felonies, including vehicular manslaughter.
Her bail was set $2.5 million bail.
She has asked to have home detention or to enter Father Martin Ashley’s, a substance abuse treatment center. She had checked into it after she was identified as the driver in the accident.
The judge has refused to reduce her bail to the $500,000 she requested, and said she is a flight risk.
“To me she represents a grave danger to the community,” said Judge Nicole Pastore Klein at a bailing hearing at the John R. Hargrove Sr. District Court Building on Patapsco Avenue.
“I cannot trust her judgement. . . She showed a reckless and careless indifference to life.”
The facts of the case are not in doubt.
What can her attorney say? What possible defense could he mount? She faces 20+ years in jail.
She will also be the target of a wrongful death lawsuit by Palermo’s widow.
The Episcopal diocese is nervous. Was she on diocesan business at the time of the accident?
Whatever the legal liability of the Episcopal diocese, its moral liability is clear.
The committee that approved Cook’s nomination for bishop knew about her DUI. They neglected to inform the voting delegates about this little incident.
If Cook had been publicly humiliated by having her disgusting DUI (covered by vomit, too drunk to stand up) made public to the diocese, she would not have (I hope) been elected a bishop. That might have brought her up short and motivated her to get sober.
But as it was, she thought her enablers in the diocese would always protect her.
Is the diocese going to post her bond and pay for her attorney? They are still paying her salary and benefits.
Despite having a more democratic polity and married clergy, the Episcopal church is as riddled with clericalism as the Catholic Church.
PS There was one fact that was in Cook’s original bio that was omitted on the diocesan web site; her “life partner” Mark. I guess men and women can’t get married in Maryland.