Incoming San Francisco archbishop pleads guilty to wet reckless driving

Salvatore Cordileone arrested in August

SAN DIEGO - The incoming Metropolitan Archbishop of San Francisco, who was arrested and charged with DUI in late August, pleaded guilty this week, according to the San Diego City Attorney's Office.

An Oct. 9 arraignment date was originally set for 56-year-old Salvatore Joseph Cordileone, who was arrested on Aug. 25 at a checkpoint in the College Area.

However, the City Attorney's Office told 10News Wednesday that Cordileone, who will be installed as the new Metropolitan Archbishop of San Francisco on Thursday, pleaded guilty to VC23103.5(a), or "wet reckless driving."

The City Attorney's Office said: "Under California Vehicle Code 23103.5, a wet reckless can occur as part of a plea bargain from an original drunk driving charge …"

Cordileone was given a sentence, but the details have not been disclosed. The City Attorney's Office said a standard sentence for this charge includes 3 years probation and a fine.

Cordileone -- one of 11 arrested at the checkpoint -- failed a field sobriety test, then consented to an optional preliminary alcohol screening device which measured a blood-alcohol level higher than the legal limit of .08 percent, San Diego police said.

Cordileone was placed under arrest and given the option of an official blood or breath test at the checkpoint. He chose a breath test that confirmed a blood-alcohol level higher than the legal limit, according to police.

Cordileone's mother, who was a passenger, was allowed to drive home following her son's arrest after officers made sure she had not been drinking and had a valid license, police said.

Cordileone was initially charged with misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs and driving with a blood-alcohol level greater than the legal limit of .08 percent or higher.

Cordileone, a San Diego native, attended SDSU for a year before transferring to the University of San Diego, where he obtained a philosophy degree in 1978.

Cordileone, who was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of San Diego in 2002, chaired the Corporate Board of Catholic Charities and was a member of the University of San Diego Board of Trustees.

He became the Fourth Bishop of Oakland in 2009 and was appointed as the Metropolitan Archbishop of San Francisco earlier this summer.

Print this article Back to Top