Episcopal officials in Maryland have asked a bishop charged with killing a bicyclist to resign, but her lawyer Wednesday said she had no immediate comment.
Bishop Heather Cook is facing charges of vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence, and texting while driving, among other charges, in the Dec. 27 death of Thomas Palermo, a father who was popular in Baltimore’s bicyclist scene.
Cook has made no statement since Palermo’s death, and has been since late December in a residential treatment center.
On Wednesday the Diocese of Maryland, which last year made Cook their first female bishop, released the letter in which leaders asked Cook to step down from her position as second-in-charge.
The Standing Committee — leadership — of the diocese agreed unanimously, the letter says, “that you are no longer able to function effectively ... given recent events.”
Her lawyer, David Irwin, declined to comment on the request, saying only that he had discussed it with his client.
The national Episcopal Church has launched a disciplinary probe into Cook’s case, a process that could result in her being defrocked altogether.
She has a Feb. 6 preliminary hearing, but Irwin said that was likely to be continued as the case may be moved to a different court. She has not been arraigned nor has she entered a plea.