Bishop Heather Cook suspended following fatal hit-and-run

Bishop Heather Cook has been charged with vehicular manslaughter following the death of a cyclist.Episcopal Diocese of Maryland

Bishop Heather Cook, who killed cyclist Tom Palermo in an accident in Baltimore last year, has received a formal Restriction on Ordained Ministry from the Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop, Rt Rev Katharine Jefferts Schori.

After the accident on December 27, it emerged that Cook had a long-standing alcohol problem including a previous conviction for drink driving, and that she was suspected of being drunk at her own consecration.

She has been charged with automobile manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, failing to remain at the scene of the accident, driving while under the influence of alcohol and texting while driving during an accident that results in death or serious bodily injury.

The restriction notice says: "You shall not exercise or engage in the ordained ministry of this Church in any respect, shall not participate in any functions of the House of Bishops, and shall not hold yourself out as an ordained person of this Church in good standing, until such time as all matters relating to you that are pending before a panel of the Disciplinary Board of Bishops shall have been finally resolved."

In her notice, the Presiding Bishop also says that restriction is being placed not solely due to the charges Cook faces because of the car accident, but because of "misrepresentations you allegedly made to persons in the Diocese of Easton and in connection to your candidacy for the episcopate in the Diocese of Maryland regarding your experience with alcohol".

Cook has been released on bail and is undergoing in-patient alcohol dependency treatment.