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Newly-Appointed SF Archbishop Arrested For DUI In San Diego

SAN DIEGO (CBS SF) - The Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, who is currently bishop of Oakland, was arrested at 12:26 a.m. Saturday on suspicion of misdemeanor driving under the influence, San Diego police spokesman Detective Gary Hassen said.

He is due to appear in San Diego County Superior Court on that charge on Oct. 9, sheriff's department spokeswoman Melissa Aquino said.

Cordileone, 56, was appointed archbishop of San Francisco by Pope Benedict XVI in July and is slated to be installed in office in a ceremony at St. Mary's Cathedral in the city on Oct. 4.

Hassen said Cordileone was arrested at a DUI checkpoint in the 5100 block of College Avenue near San Diego State University.

He said that as Cordileone went through the checkpoint, officers there determined that he "needed to be evaluated further." After a preliminary evaluation, Cordileone was taken to a secondary area, given a field sobriety test and then arrested, the spokesman said.

KCBS' Chris Filippi Reports:

Cordileone has been Bishop of the Oakland Diocese since 2009, which released the following statement on his behalf Monday afternoon:

"While visiting in San Diego this past weekend, I had dinner at the home of some friends along with a priest friend visiting from outside the country and my mother, who lives near San Diego State University. While driving my mother home, I passed through a DUI checkpoint the police had set up near the SDSU campus before I reached her home, and was found to be over the California legal blood alcohol level.

"I apologize for my error in judgment and feel shame for the disgrace I have brought upon the Church and myself. I will repay my debt to society and I ask forgiveness from my family and my friends and co-workers at the Diocese of Oakland and the Archdiocese of San Francisco. I pray that God, in His inscrutable wisdom, will bring some good out of this."

Aquino said Cordileone was booked into county jail at 2:33 a.m.  Saturday, then released on $2,500 bail at 11:59 a.m. and given the Oct. 9 court date.

In San Diego, misdemeanor DUI offenses are prosecuted by the city attorney's office.

City attorney spokeswoman Gina Coburn said that as of mid-afternoon Monday, Cordileone's records were not yet in that office's system.

Cordileone was an outspoken supporter of the Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage, and recently discussed the perception that he holds politically conservative positions with KCBS Radio.

KCBS Interviews Archbishop-designate Salvatore Cordileone

Cordileone grew up in San Diego and graduated from the University of San Diego in 1978, and was ordained a priest in San Diego in 1982, according to a biography provided by the archdiocese. After spending time in Rome, Costa Mesa and Calexico, he served as auxiliary bishop of San Diego from 2002 until he was appointed bishop of Oakland in 2009.

The Archdiocese of San Francisco encompasses San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties. The archbishop also supervises the dioceses of Oakland, San Jose, Santa Rosa, Stockton, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Reno, Salt Lake City and Honolulu.

Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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