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Drunk-driving charges filed against archbishop-elect of San Francisco

August 31, 2012 |  4:07 pm

Rev. Salvatore Codileone

San Diego prosecutors filed charges Friday against the Roman Catholic archbishop-elect of San Francisco following a drunk-driving arrest in San Diego last week.

The Rev. Salvatore Cordileone was charged with driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and with a blood-alcohol level greater than 0.08%, according to the San Diego city attorney’s office.

Cordileone was arrested shortly after midnight Saturday at a drunk-driving checkpoint near San Diego State University. After failing a breath test, he was arrested and booked into county jail. He was released before noon after posting $2,500 bond.

In a statement released Monday, Cordileone said he was driving home after having dinner with his mother and several friends.

"I apologize for my error in judgment and feel shame for the disgrace I have brought upon the Church and myself," Cordileone said in the statement. "I pray that God in His inscrutable wisdom will bring some good out of this."

The 56-year-old priest is now bishop of Oakland and is set to be installed as San Francisco archbishop Oct. 4. He is set to appear in court Oct. 9. He was selected to be San Francisco archbishop by Pope Benedict XVI to replace the retiring Archbishop George Niederauer.

Cordileone is a native of San Diego, where he was a priest and then auxiliary bishop. San Diego police said Cordileone was cooperative during the arrest and did not seek any special privileges.


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Photo: San Francisco Archbishop-elect Salvatore Cordileone, center, speaks with other members of the church last month. Credit: Michael Short / Associated Press