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San Francisco archbishop jokes about his DUI arrest in speech

October 5, 2012 |  6:33 am

The new Roman Catholic archbishop of San Francisco, arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in San Diego in August, joked about the incident Thursday as he formally assumed his new position in the church.

Salvatore Joseph Cordileone was installed as archbishop amid ceremonial splendor at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption in San Francisco.

"I know in my life God has always had a way of putting me in my place. I would say, though, that in the latest episode of my life God has outdone himself," Cordileone told the audience, according to the Associated Press.

Cordileone, 56, has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor reckless driving in the case, court records indicate. He had been set to be arraigned Oct. 9.

An attorney for Cordileone entered the plea Monday in San Diego County Superior Court. Cordileone was sentenced to three years' probation, a $1,120 fine and attendance at a panel discussion sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

The penalty is consistent with plea bargains given to other drivers arrested under similar circumstances, the city attorney's office said.

A native of San Diego, Cordileone had been at dinner with his mother when he was stopped at a routine late-night checkpoint near San Diego State University and taken into custody on suspicion of drunk driving. He was booked into county jail.

Within days he apologized for his actions and the embarrassment it caused the church.


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Photo: Archbishop Salvatore Joseph Cordileone. Credit: Marcio Joseph Sanchez / Associated Press