Yes, THAT Heather Cook, the drunk former Episcopal bishop who got plastered two days after Christmas 2014 and careered down Roland Avenue in her car, texting as she went, striking and killing a bicyclist and leaving the scene. Her blood alcohol at a staggering .22 - nearly three times the legal limit - she drove off and left Tom Palermo bleeding profusely in the street.
Somehow she managed to drive to her apartment without killing anyone else, and then she called a friend for advice on how to handle the mess she made of her life and those of many others. That person convinced her to return to the scene and begin to face the sad music that she composed.
You see, this was not the first brush with the law for Bishop Cook, who was arrested in 2010 for DUI and possession of marijuana in Caroline County, MD. She was Canon to the Ordinary for the Diocese of Easton at the time. In that case, she was driving while impaired with a bag of weed, so egregiously that her tire was shredded as she plowed along.
So running down a man on his bike was not her first dance with outrageous behavior, which is why I opposed the light sentence she got off with in 2015. She could have got 20 years, and the State's Attorney settled for 10, and the judge gave her 7.
Now the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Corrections Services, who have had Cook as a guest in their Jessup facility, says, "She has a seven-year sentence, but because the crime is considered non-violent, she is eligible for parole after serving 25% of it," according to spokesperson Gerard Shields.
Please consider joining me by writing to the Maryland Parole Commission at 6776 Reisterstown Road, Suite 307, Baltimore, MD 21215 to ask that Cook spend every second of the remaining part of her sentence behind bars and not behind the wheel of a car. Being out here among the law-abiding is not a privilege she has earned.