DUI charges were dropped Tuesday against Bishop Robert McManus, spiritual leader of the Worcester Diocese’s 392,000 Catholics, after the bishop pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of refusing a breathalyzer test.
Bishop McManus was arrested in early May for hitting a vehicle in Narragansett, then leaving the scene of the accident. The investigating police officer reported that McManus had bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol.
Bishop McManus has lost his driver’s license for six months and has been fined $900 for drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident; but his record has been expunged.
The court may have been generous because Bishop McManus had a clean driving record, and because he was genuinely remorseful for his actions in choosing to drive a car after having had too much to drink at a dinner. His attorney, William Murphy, in a statement to the press outside of the courthouse, said, “He’s sorry, he is remorseful for what has occurred, and again he’s apologized to everybody for this, and you know it’s behind him and the Bishop is going to move forward.”
In a statement on the Worcester Diocese website on the conclusion of the Rhode Island legal process, Bishop McManus said:
As I stated previously on May 6, I made a terrible error in judgement on May 4, 2013. I have been committed to making amends and accepting the consequences of my actions. I am grateful that the legal process has been concluded. As a result, my license to drive is suspended for 6 months, I paid the fine determined by the court and will provide 10 hours of community service and attend safety class. I continue to ask forgiveness from all the good people I serve, as well as my family and friends in the Diocese of Worcester and the Diocese of Providence. I am both grateful for and humbled by the support I have received from clergy, parishioners, and the community as I continue to serve to the best of my ability as the Bishop of Worcester. June 4, 2013