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Crime & Justiceby Mark Reutter12:17 pmJan 15, 20150

BREAKING NEWS: Bishop Heather Cook makes bail

A Brew Exclusive

Above: Bishop Heather Cook’s arrest photo.

Heather Elizabeth Cook, the Episcopal bishop charged with manslaughter and drunk driving, has posted $2.5 million in bail and is in the process of being released from the Baltimore City Detention Center.

On-line court documents show that Aaron Mossman, of the local bail-bond surety company Lexington National, has guaranteed the full bail amount for Cook, 58, who has been held in jail since Friday.

At Cook’s Monday bail review, attorney Jose A. Molina said the cleric could not post bail and asked a district court judge to lower the amount to $500,000.

Judge Nicole Pastore Klein refused and said she was a flight risk, citing her leaving the scene after her car crashed into and killed bicyclist Thomas Palermo.

Molina said that, if she made bail, his client would return to Father Martin’s Ashley, the Havre de Grace alcohol treatment center she had checked into shortly after the car crash on December 27.

The case has sparked national attention after The Brew reported that Cook had a prior DUI and marijuana arrest in 2010 when she was Canon to the Ordinary at the Episcopal Diocese of Easton.

Over an hour after her December 27 crash, Cook’s alcohol blood level was .22 – nearly three times Maryland’s legal limit, according to the Baltimore state’s attorney’s office.

Last September, Cook was ordained as Bishop Suffragan of the Maryland Episcopal Diocese. It has since been disclosed that some church leaders knew of her DUI arrest, but those who voted in the election for Bishop Suffragan were not informed of her history.

Molina and Cook’s other defense attorney, David Irwin, did not return phone calls from The Brew seeking comment.

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