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Fairbanks priest joins alcohol treatment program as part of plea bargain after DUI arrest


FAIRBANKS, Alaska — A Fairbanks priest has joined an alcohol treatment program following his arrest earlier this year on suspicion of driving under the influence.

The Rev. Sean Patrick Thomson pleaded guilty last month to reckless driving as part of a plea agreement.

Court records show the former University of Alaska priest was sentenced to 10 days in jail and will receive credit for that time by undergoing alcohol abuse treatment. He also was given two years' probation.

Misdemeanor weapons, drug and driving under the influence charges were dropped as part of the deal. Authorities said Thomson had a small amount of marijuana and two pistols with him when he was stopped by Alaska state troopers in March.

Thomson's attorney, Zane Wilson, called it a fair resolution. Thomson is currently taking part in a three-month, in-patient alcohol treatment program, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported ( ) Wednesday.

Ronnie Rosenberg, director of human resources and legal coordinator for the Fairbanks diocese, said Thomson's duties when he returns have yet to be decided and will depend in part on the recommendations of his treatment program. She said Thomson will not return to the university.

The Revs. Marek Szczur and Fred Baylor will continue to serve the university parish and several downtown parishes, she said.

Separately, the Rev. Clint Landry, the priest for Sacred Heart Cathedral in Fairbanks, remains on leave. The diocese placed Landry on leave in May after announcing he was under investigation by the FBI for activity related to his use of church computers and the Internet. Criminal charges have not been filed. A phone listing for Landry could not be found.

Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner,

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