A New Jersey Democratic councilwoman disregarded pleas from her constituents for her to resign after reportedly being caught on video plowing into a bicyclist with her car and fleeing the crime scene in her vehicle.
Approximately 100 Jersey City residents spoke at Wednesday night's council meeting. Most of the constituents at the five-hour meeting were there to call for councilwoman Amy DeGise to resign. The residents demanded DeGise's resignation for an alleged hit-and-run incident involving a cyclist.
"Her behavior shows a disregard for human life," declared Molly Booth – a longtime Jersey City resident who said she had never spoken at a council meeting before. "Apparently it needs to be said: Valuing human life is a necessary qualification of public officials."
Gothamist reported, "The most emotional moment of the night came when Kenneth Bandes of Families for Safe Streets held up a photo of his daughter, who was run over and killed by a bus at the age of 19."
"The councilmember’s father seems to think that those who care about traffic safety are radicals," Bandes said. "My only radical agenda tonight is only to protect others from the heartache we experienced. The councilmember should step down and stay off the road."
Amy's father is Tom DeGise – Hudson County Executive and a self-described "progressive Democrat." He called the Jersey Journal a "rag" that has become an "attack dog for the radical left" for reporting on his daughter.
The Jersey Journal covered Amy DeGise's alleged hit-and-run as well as "her troubling driving record, dozens of parking tickets, an unpaid veterinarian bill and her residence in an apartment complex meant for low- to moderate-income families even though she earns nearly $200,000 a year," NJ.com reported.
Despite dozens of her own constituents demanding that she resign, Amy DeGise defiantly dismissed the wishes of the Jersey City voters.
“I am not resigning,” Amy DeGise proclaimed. “I remain committed to this position on the council.”
"When the legal process in traffic court is finished, I will have more to say and I can address outstanding concerns and questions. And in the meantime, I’m not resigning," the Jersey City councilwoman added.
“For those who call for my resignation, you are heard, and I understand that you have concerns and questions that I respect and would enjoy any type of dialogue or discussion with you after I go to court,” DeGise told the overcapacity crowd.
"I do not identify with the perception that you have of me, but adversity does make us work harder," DeGise said, according to the New York Post. "To those of you who believe in me, thank you. And to those of you who don’t, thank you for making me want to be a better leader."
"This has only made me stronger and I will use that strength to fight for the issues that help every resident," she continued.
"I'm a private person, more than you think. I know everyone thinks I enjoy this public eye [but], I’m a very private person," DeGise claimed. "And, I would like to deal with this privately and I would like that respect, but it has gone vulgar."
"I'm appreciative of everyone who came out and had to stay tonight," the Democratic councilwoman said. "I’m appreciative and so grateful for the people who have reached out to support me or just want to wait until that court process goes on to ask me any further questions [or] to pry anymore. I cannot make it through these days without you."
“I remain committed to this position on the council, no matter your perception of me," she concluded. "Please know that my commitment is genuine, as is my love for Jersey City, and it is as strong as ever. Thank you.”
Gothamist reported, "DeGise's case has not yet gone to court. The case has been moved from Hudson County, where she’s so politically connected, to Essex County, another Democratic stronghold."
On the morning of July 19, DeGise was caught by a traffic surveillance camera driving her black SUV through an intersection in Jersey City and slamming into a bicyclist. DeGise's black Nissan Rogue caused 29-year-old UberEats deliveryman Andrew Black to catapult into the air because of the force of the collision. Black and his bike were tossed several feet into the intersection.
The embattled Jersey City councilwoman didn't stop to check on Black after smashing into him.
Black did run a red light in the accident.
DeGise turned herself in at police headquarters six hours after the crash. She was charged with leaving the scene of an accident.
DeGise has never publicly apologized to Black or her constituents.
(WARNING: Graphic video)