- (Photo: New Destiny Christian Center via The Christian Post)
The mother of Zachery Tims, the Florida pastor who was found dead on the floor of a New York City hotel room in August, has filed a lawsuit against the City of New York in an effort to keep officials from disclosing to the public the minister's cause of death.
The New York Daily News reported Saturday that Tims' mother sued both NYC and the medical examiner's office Friday to keep the 42-year-old's cause of death secret. The Daily News report did not disclose the plaintiff's name on the lawsuit, but did note that the case would go before a Manhattan Supreme Court justice on Nov. 23.
Tims, pastor of New Destiny Christian Center (NDCC) in Apopka, Fla., was found dead in his room at the W. Hotel in Times Square on Aug. 12. Sources close to the case have reportedly claimed that a glassine envelope of white powder was found in Tims' right pants pocket.
The initial autopsy on Tims was inconclusive and investigators were waiting on the results of a toxicology exam to determine the charismatic preacher's cause of death.
The Christian Post spoke with the New York Chief Medical Examiner's office last week and was informed that only the cause and manner of death can be made available to the public, according to New York law. Spokeswoman Ellen Borakove told CP that the actual toxicology report can only be seen by next of kin.
When asked about earlier reports by the Orlando Sentinel that Tims' kin might be considering legal action to seal the toxicology report, Borakove said, "All I have said is that the family has some concerns and that we're looking into them. I'm not commenting on what those concerns are."
During Tims' funeral on Aug. 21, Bishop T.D. Jakes, who delivered the minister's eulogy, reportedly insinuated that the late pastor struggled with personal problems and was not a perfect man. Tims described his past drug problem in a memoir, It's Never Too Late.
If the toxicology results are kept confidential and Tims' family keeps his cause of death from being disclosed, it is likely that allegations of a possible drug overdose will forever haunt the Florida minister.
Tims left behind four children and an ex-wife, Riva Tims, who also helped him found the 7,500-plus NDCC congregation.