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‘Crusty Old Dean’ Faces Drunk-Driving Charge

By Kirk Petersen

A senior staff member and erstwhile blogger has been placed on administrative leave and inhibited from ministry in the Diocese of Central New York, after being arrested for allegedly driving while intoxicated.

“The Rev. Canon Dr. Tom Ferguson was driving while intoxicated, had a car accident, and was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated. According to the arrest record and Tom’s report, no one else was injured in the accident and for that I give thanks,” wrote Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe.  Ferguson has been canon to the ordinary for transition and development since 2022.

Ferguson is widely known as the proprietor of the “Crusty Old Dean” website, where he has provided acerbic commentary on the Episcopal Church and other topics. Currently an antivirus program is blocking access to the site, but an archived version shows about 200 blog posts dating back to 2011. The blog has been largely inactive in recent years, with three posts combined in 2021 and 2022, and none since. The title of the blog reflects that from 2011 to 2016, Ferguson served as academic dean at Bexley Seabury Seminary in Columbus, Ohio.

State Police records show that the accident was reported at 2:19 a.m. on January 6 in Clay, New York, a northern suburb of Syracuse, where the diocese is based. According to the rudimentary information available online, he was arrested the afternoon of January 7, and released with an “appearance ticket,” apparently without bail. A notation indicates the DWI charge is a first offense.

Communications Director Rachel Ravellette said the diocese would have no comment beyond the bishop’s announcement. Efforts to reach Ferguson were unsuccessful. Duncan-Probe wrote: “Tom wants to share the following:  ‘I ask for your prayers for me and for my family in this difficult time.'”

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