The Suffragan Bishop of Maryland has been placed on administrative leave following her involvement in a “hit and run” accident that left a cyclist dead.
In an email sent to the clergy of the Diocese of Maryland on 28 Dec 2014, the Bishop of Maryland, the Rt. Rev. Eugene T. Sutton said he was “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 Sutton reported that Bishop Cook was not hurt in the accident, and offered his condolences to the family of the victim. “Please pray for Mr. Palermo, his family and Bishop Cook during this most difficult time,” he said.
Bishop Sutton confirmed that 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,” the bishop added.
Baltimore police report that they responded to an incident at 2:37 pm on Saturday in the 5700 block of Roland Avenue, and found Mr. Palermo injured at the scene of the accident. He was taken to Sinai Hospital where he died of his injuries. The police have not disclosed whether charges will be filed in the case.