The 20-member vestry was responding to a letter Cooper had written last week to church leaders. “In fulfillment of my commitment to serve at least ten years as the 17th Rector of Trinity Wall Street, and in confidence that Trinity is well positioned for the future, I write to request that you accept my intention to retire from Trinity February 28, 2015,” the rector wrote.
Cooper – a former rector at Christ Episcopal Church in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and who was appointed as the rector of the 314-year-old Trinity Church in 2004 – also reportedly fought with church officials over his retirement, insisting on a burial plot in Trinity’s historic Lower Manhattan graveyard, which stands near Ground Zero.
On Monday, church member Jeremy Bates filed a lawsuit, alleging the voting for the vestry and its two wardens in April 2012 was “improper and unlawful,” according to New York Daily News. As a result of that election, the vestry was packed with supporters of Cooper, the suit charges, and requests a copy of Trinity’s financial statement.