Wis. bishop charged in fatal crash steps aside

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin bishop charged in a hit-and-run crash that killed a jogger is stepping aside.

The South-Central Synod of Wisconsin of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America says its executive committee agrees with Bishop Bruce Burnside that he is unable to fulfill his responsibilities.

Burnside's term as bishop ends June 30. Church officials plan to name an interim bishop as soon as possible.

Burnside is accused of driving drunk when he allegedly struck and killed 52-year-old Maureen Mengelt in Sun Prairie. He is at an in-patient treatment center awaiting court proceedings.

The synod's acting bishop, the Rev. Blake Rohrer, tells the Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/10lQACt) church rules allow an interim bishop to begin serving without the formal resignation of the elected bishop.

The synod oversees 145 congregations in south-central Wisconsin.


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