Sleepy Connecticut town rocked by alleged drug-dealing pastor


A wholly unholy situation

Forget sniffing pot around New York’s cathedrals. Nearby, in uppity Connecticut, exists a Methodist church where it’s shove the donations and stuff the Hail Marys. Forget a buck in the basket. Its religious rev was allegedly hustling junk.

Earlier this month, this pastor got arrested. Age 63. The Rev. Herbert Irving Miller. Prayed there since July. Forget Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. Cleric Herbie was allegedly selling drugs. Crystal meth. Clientele called it speed or ice or dunk or no doze or white cross. I mean, talk of a happy Last Supper.

United Methodist Church hierarchy called it a shock to the community. Yeah, no kidding.


Woodbury United Methodist Church Rev. Herbert Miller
Woodbury United Methodist Church Rev. Herbert Miller, 66, was arrested for allegedly selling crystal meth. Connecticut State Police

Undercover guys pulled him over on South Main Street. Per the report, they collared His Worship hustling the stuff from a car a pew away. Inside, drugs. Methamphetamine in rock and liquid form. Hypodermic needle.

The car? No registration. No insurance. Besides charged with possession and intent to sell drugs he illegally operated a motor vehicle. He’s been jailed. Released on $10,000 bond. This padre listed his address as the rectory. His court appearance is Friday. Herbie is no longer an elder in the United Methodist Church.

My friends live in Woodbury. I know this church. I know the town. Its main drag’s famous. A mile of well-known antique stores. Both sides of the street. Flea markets, open Saturdays, curbside sales, free parking, personal delivery, rent-a-space for $30.

In and out 24/7 it’s New York decorators, buyers, artists, designers, fashionistas, home-owners, collectors, specialists, strangers.

And until a few weeks ago, a minister allegedly hustling junk.


Wine, roses and O’Hara

MANHATTAN’s shining light is award winning Kelli O’Hara who, along with Brian d’Arcy James, is staging Studio 54’s “Days of Wine and Roses” musical.

Kelli: “I’m from where the Irish settled. Elk City. Western Oklahoma. We farmed cotton, wheat, cattle. Voice teacher Florence Birdwell changed my life. I had my dream. Two suitcases, no clue or job. After college I moved to New York.”

After roles in “The Pajama Game,” “The King and I,” “South Pacific,” etc., she ever screw up?

“Please. Nightmares. Times you can’t remember your name. You scramble. One show I shortened by cutting out a whole scene. Metropolitan Opera, center stage, I went blank and had to walk off into the wings until the line got whispered to me.

“Look, I try to rest. Drink water. Don’t smoke. Exercise. Don’t drink lots of alcohol. Stretch my body. I have two children — 10 and 14. If they’re sick I can’t not talk to them because I can’t not be their mom since my need is to have a perfect show. I cannot worry about that. Sometimes I wear a mask but I don’t want to get neurotic.”

Kelly and I share Dan Lipton. Her accompanist. My friend.


On the town

VIPs all around the town. Is a 17th congressional run left in the tank for Carolyn Maloney? She just celebrated a burger birthday at UES’s Beach Cafe . . . HUMA Abedin shopping alone. Buying pasta and beans. No weiners (she divorced that live one) in her cart.

NEW Yorkers really don’t like to miss anything. After the Bible Society listed 143 officially recognized sins, nearby parishioners have been pouring in — all of them asking for a copy of the complete list.

Not only in the Northeast, kids, not only in the Northeast.



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