The Glory Has Departed


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Friday, January 16, 2015

DUI Texting Bishop Posts Bail and Sneaks Out the Back Door



Won't You Post Bail Mark Hansen
Won't You Post Bail?
I moan the whole night long
I'll go to AA Honey
I'll sober up.
I know that I've done you wrong.

Remember those many days that I drove  so drunk
While texting  like a cool young teen?
Yes I know that I'm to blame
Ain't that a shame?
Mark Hansen, won't you please post bail.

(Lyrics to Bill Bailey, by Ichabod, the Glory Has Departed)

BALTIMORE, MD: Bishop Heather Cook posts $2.5 million bail
Former Episcopal priest ponies up $250,000 to start the bonding process
By Mary Ann Mueller
VOL Special Correspondent
www.virtueonline.org
Jan. 16, 2015

The ever changing story surrounding disgraced Episcopal Bishop Heather Cook (Maryland suffragan) has taken yet another turn. With the help of her "steady companion," she has been able to do the seemingly impossible and have a $2.5 million cash bond posted to spring herself from a Baltimore jail. However her newly-found freedom comes with a hefty price tag ... $35,000 by check and a signed promissory note for $215,000 payable at $1,000 a month for 18 years (215 months), but with few restrictions. She is to surrender her temporary Maryland driver's license and promise not to drive. She is not on any sort of "pretrial supervision."

Signing the promissory note and putting up the collateral was Dr. Mark. H. Hansen, a former Episcopal priest and one of the "Connecticut Six" who were vocal in their opposition of Vicky Gene Robinson's (IX New Hampshire) elevation to the episcopate.


He was inhibited by Bishop Andrew Smith, who took over of his parish's pastoral oversight, buildings and administration.

Bishop Cook and Dr. Hansen first connected at General Theological Seminary -- she was in the Class of '87 and he was in the Class of '85. They finally reconnected two years ago when both ended up in the Diocese of Easton -- she as the Canon to the Ordinary and he as the "lay pastor" at St. Clement's Episcopal Church at Massey, Maryland.
"Supporting me in my vocation is my steady companion, Mark, a passionate Anglican," then Canon Cook explained in her autobiographical statement to the Diocese of Maryland Bishop Search Committee. "After having dated in our twenties, life took us different ways, but we found each other again two years ago, and it has been a great blessing.
According to court records, Aaron Mossman, a bail bondsman at Fred W. Frank Bail Bonds, worked with Dr. Hansen to facilitate Bishop Cook's release. The rest of the $.2.5 million bond ($2,250,000) is being secured by Lexington National Insurance Corporation in the form of a surety bond.

Should Bishop Cook skip bail or fail to make any of her court dates, the first of which is Feb. 6, Dr. Hansen, who attended the bishop's bail review hearing, would be liable for the entire $2.5 million. It is expected that it might take as long as 18 months or more for a criminal trial to commence.

The Episcopal bishop has been formally charged in the hit and run traffic death of Thomas Palermo almost three weeks ago on Dec. 27, 2014. Court records indicate that four criminal charges are filed against the bishop including negligent manslaughter (criminal statue CR.2.209); criminal negligent manslaughter, (criminal statue CR.2.210.b); driving under the influence of alcohol resulting in a homicide (criminal statue CR.2.503); and negligent homicide driving while impaired (criminal statue CR.2.504).

She also faces several traffic charges including: leaving the scene of an accident, failing to remain at the scene of an accident, texting while driving which resulted in an accident with death, and DUI.
Bishop Cook's bail was unexpected.

Now that she has been released, her legal defense team announced that the bishop is returning to rehab. She checked herself into rehab following the hit and run accident. She spent 12 days at Fr. Martin's Ashley which has been described by the media as a "posh, non-denominational rehab facility in Havre de Grace, which boasts online of its treatment programs for alcoholism and drug addiction." She stayed there until she turned herself in on late Friday afternoon (Jan. 9), following the issuance of an arrest warrant by newly-installed Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby for the booking and bail setting process. The Havre de Grace residential facility costs upwards of $20,000 for 28-day treatment program.

"Bishop Cook has been released pending trial and is returning to an inpatient treatment facility," Bishop Cook's legal defense team of David Irwin and Jose Molina said in a released statement. "As a condition of her release, she is not permitted to drive."

"Defendants who are released on bail normally have to walk out the door here ..." WBAL reporter, Jayne Miller explained while pointing to the entrance to Baltimore City's Central Booking. "Not Bishop Cook. She was given today what one jail source called 'super special treatment.'"

That 'super special treatment' involved allowing a driver to drive into the off-limits sally port area to pick up his friend away from the public and media. This was supposedly arranged by Bishop Cook's attorney to protect her from prying eyes and media scrutiny.


"The car whisked way with the bishop in the passenger seat and a dog in the back seat," the WBAL reporter said as she witnessed the white car drive off.

Bishop Cook's release raises more questions than it answers, however the bishop's attorneys have not returned VOL calls and the State's Attorney's Office says it cannot make comment on a current criminal case.
Mary Ann Mueller is a journalist living in Texas. She is a regular contributor to VirtueOnline