Jersey City Council Member Amy DeGise pleads guilty to July hit-and-run crash
A Jersey City council member has pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident in a hit-in-run case over the summer.
Amy DeGise will have her driver’s license suspended for a year and must pay a $5,000 fine. This was all part of a plea deal to avoid jail time.
DeGise was accompanied by her defense attorney. Her father, former Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, was in the courtroom. DeGise admitted in court that she struck a bicyclist and didn’t stop to provide help.
The incident happened in July. DeGise was driving along MLK Drive in Jersey City when she struck cyclist, Andrew Black. Black was making a delivery at the time and ran a red light. DeGise had the right of way but never stopped to help Black. It was six hours before she reached out to the police.
"Today in court, she accepted responsibility for what she did. It was a traffic violation, never a criminal violation,” says attorney Brian Neary. "Her judgment in leaving was wrong. She told the judge that today. The explanation of how long, who knows why?”
There've been calls for DeGise to step down from her Council seat, but her attorney says she has no plans to do so.
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"The citizens of Jersey City will decide whether or not this raises itself to the level of her judgment as a public official,” Neary says.
Some of those demanding her resignation were also in court.
"She was elected to City Council. There are different rights and responsibilities that come with that, and I think it's time for her to resign because she's clearly lost the public trust,” says Jersey City resident Kevin Bing.
DeGise has had the support of Mayor Steven Fulop, who said he was waiting to see how this played out in court.
Some have not forgotten that.
"It is time for Steve Fulop to step up and call for Amy DeGise to resign,” Bing says.
DeGise issued a statement following the hearing. She wrote in part, "I want to offer my heartfelt apology to Andrew Black, and I am thankful that he was not hurt. I also want to apologize to the people of Jersey City for not only my actions, but for the negative attention they brought to our wonderful community."
Black walked away from the crash with an ankle injury. He has already filed notice that he plans to sue DeGise and Jersey City for the crash.