Heather Cook Released From Jail, Makes $2.5M Bail (UPDATED)

Share the News

Bishop Heather Cook (BCPD booking photo)
Bishop Heather Cook (BCPD booking photo)

Episcopal Bishop Heather Cook made bail, and was released from jail in Baltimore City on Thursday, according to court records. Cook was being held on charges of vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident, DUI and texting while driving in connection with the Dec. 27 Roland Ave. crash that killed bicyclist Thomas Palermo.

Despite a request to lower Cook’s bail on Monday, a judge maintained the $2.5 million total that was set on Friday. Aaron Mossman of Fred Frank Bail Bonds is listed as the bailbondsman in court records. Cook was at a treatment center in Havre de Grace when she turned herself in on Friday.

On Wednesday, top Episcopal Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton released a letter stating that the diocese would review the process by which Cook was elected as Bishop Suffragan in September.

UPDATE: The Baltimore Sun’s Justin Fenton got his hands on the court records, and reports that Mossman paid the bail after being issued a $35,000 check from St. Paul’s Cathedral Trust in America, Executive Director Mark H. Hansen of Millington, Md. Hansen agreed to pay $1,000 a month over 215 months to make up the rest.

Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Technical.ly Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.

Share the News


  1. Mark H. Hansen and Heather Cook dated in theological school, which they attended together for two years. Cook later served approximately 10 years in a Connecticut dioceses alongside Hansen. At that time Hansen was married and had children. Hansen was defrocked during that time because he objected to a homosexual being named a bishop. After being defrocked he divorced and ‘officially’ started his living arrangement with Cook. Bishop Sutton was not only aware at the time of Cook’s election of her criminal behavior related to her DUI, but also that she was living with a priest who was defrocked for failing to follow the teachings of the Episcopal Church and for acting against the authority (bishops) of the Episcopal Church. He also knew that Hansen divorced his wife to be with Cook. The $35,000 given to a bailsman to free Cook was made out on a check from an Episcopal Church charity fund, with the consent of Bishop Sutton. The St. Paul’s Cathedral Trust in America is a US 501c3 non-profit organization with full IRS tax deductibility. Hansen and Sutton’s use of this fund to spring Cook is illegal and a fraudulent use of donations by well-meaning Americans to support a criminal. Cook is listed among the most generous donors; Hansen is the only person listed as being responsible for the trust: http://www.stpaulsusa.org/Pages/SPCTADonors.aspx The Facebook page Hansen runs for the trusts claims to have gotten over 4 million dollars. There is still no transparency from Bishop Sutton regarding who is paying Cook’s extremely expensive lawyer and rehab costs.

  2. There is no record in the Sun reporting that I can find indicating that Hansen received a check for $35K from the trust, and then turned around and issued a 35K check for her release. Can you provide a link for this troubling and potentially criminal development?

  3. Has anyone confirmed the “update” that the check was written on a St. Paul’s Cathedral Trust in America account? I find it impossible to believe that this could have happened. The Trust is a registered non-profit – it seems very doubtful that Hansen could be allowed to write a $35k check for some use other than those for which the Trust was established.

  4. Sorry… I posted my previous remark too soon. Upon re-reading the “update” I realized that it does NOT say the check was from the Trust. You might want to reword that paragraph – it seems I’m not the only one who thought it said that.

Comments are closed.