Friday, January 23, 2015

Good Clergy, Part 5: Baltimore Sun Reader Calls Out Heather Elizabeth Cook

This letter to the Baltimore Sun sums up perfectly how I feel about this case. A huge kudos to Ms. MacCuaig for having the courage to write it. I've included it here in its entirety.

Episcopal Bishop Suffragan Heather Cook and the tragedy of bicyclist Tom Palermo's accidental death at her hands are the subject of daily news articles, yet the incident has been conspicuously absent from The Sun's letters column ("Bishop Cook posts $2.5M bond, to be released," Jan. 15).

Perhaps there has been a desire, albeit misguided, to protect Ms. Cook given the agony we must assume she is in.

Nevertheless, the news that Judge Nicole Pastore Klein will not reduce her $2.5 million bail at least feels something like justice. The fact that Ms. Cook put herself in treatment at Father Martin's Ashley after the accident is unimpressive.

Ask anyone who has ever had a DUI or other drug offense and you'll find that such a ploy for clemency after the fact is just that — a ploy.

Ms. Cook should have put herself back into rehab years ago.

Instead, she has led what could be called a double, even duplicitous, life: On the one hand preaching and leading within the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, and on the other indulging alcohol abuse that resulted in extraordinary recklessness and the death of a man who, by all rights, should be alive today.

The carelessness and hypocrisy is overwhelming, and overwhelmingly discouraging. Jail is the appropriate place for her.

Myra MacCuaig, Towson

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