A Jersey City councilwoman is facing calls for her resignation after being allegedly caught on a traffic camera crashing into a bicyclist and continuing on her way.
Ann DeGise, a first-term, at-large city council member and the daughter of powerful Democrat Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, had the green light and did not appear to be the cause of the July 19 incident, according to officials. But the fact that she allegedly did not stop to see if Andrew Black, 31, was okay has stoked outrage in the city and among her council colleagues.
“Past being elected its a living human being, it was really hard for me to witness that,” said Councilman Frank Gilmore. “It’s a matter of public trust, it’s a matter of respect, it’s a matter of human decency.”
Another fellow councilmember, James Solomon, was among the first to sign a change.org petition calling for DeGise to resign.
“The word I use is horrified, that’s how I felt watching the video,” Solomon told NBCNewYork.com. “She’s an elected official and we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard and that’s why I think she should resign.”
The violent collision sent Black flying through the air, bouncing off the hood of the SUV and landing in a heap in the middle of busy Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. He could be seen rising to his feet and staggering to the safety of a corner, where passersby tended to him. His bike landed in a tangled heap near another corner. Black, an Uber Eats deliveryman, miraculously suffered no serious injuries.
“Someone of prestige would fall to the point where they would ignore the law,” Black said in an interview with HudPost.
DeGise has been charged with failure to report the accident and leaving the scene. She reported the accident six hours later, according to the Jersey Journal, and said through a spokesperson she has no intention of resigning. In addition to being the daughter of the county executive, she is a former school board member and was previously chairwoman of the powerful Hudson County Democratic Organization.
Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, a fellow Democrat who ran with DeGise on his ticket in November, called the incident a terrible mistake but stopped short of calling on DeGise to resign.