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Bishop charged with manslaughter resigns

by Hannah Tooley

Heather Cook has been charged with vehicular manslaughter following the death of a cyclist in an accident last year.

She killed Tom Palermo in Baltimore on December 27th, and holds a previous conviction for drink driving.

Following the accident she was charged with automobile manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, failing to remain at the scene of the accident, driving while under the influence of alcohol and texting while driving during an accident that results in death or serious bodily injury.

The Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said in a statement that Cook can no longer work as an ordained person in The Episcopal Church.

She said she and Cook had reached an agreement and Cook will be "deprived of the right to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority of God's word and sacraments conferred at ordination."

The accord is separate from criminal matters pending in the court.

After she was charged, Cook was released on bail and has begun in-patient treatment for alcohol dependency. 

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