Jersey City councilwoman pleads guilty in hit-and-run case, avoids jail time

Toni Yates Image
Tuesday, January 24, 2023 11:38PM
NJ councilwoman pleads guilty in hit-and-run case
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Jersey City Councilwoman Amy DeGise pled guilty after she was caught by traffic cameras hitting a man on a bike and not stopping. Toni Yates has the story.

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A Jersey City councilwoman faced a judge Tuesday, on charges that she hit a bicyclist with her SUV and kept going.

Standing before Judge Chandra Cole, Jersey City Councilwoman Amy DeGise pled guilty as her attorney walked her through what she did July 19 of last year, when she was caught by traffic cameras hitting a man on a bike and not stopping.

DeGise had been charged with failure to report an accident and leaving the scene of an accident involving injuries.

The victim, Andrew Black, suffered an ankle injury when DeGise's black Nissan Rogue struck him in the intersection of Forrest Street and MLK Drive. She had the green light.

The case was transferred from Hudson County Courts to avoid any possible conflict. A plea deal was made and DeGise will not face any jail time, but she loses her license for a year and must pay a $5,000 fine.

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The judge held DeGise accountable for not stopping at all.

"What if during that moment, that terrible lapse in judgement, something even worse had occurred," Essex County Court Judge Cole said.

When asked why his client didn't stop after hitting Black, DeGise's attorney Brian Neary said "the foibles of human nature could be such as you panic, you don't know, you don't think about it."

Organizers of a movement to have DeGise resign or removed from office, say her punishment is not enough.

"People they know about this case, they're fired up about it and they angry," Jersey City resident Kevin Bing said.

Black had posted a GoFundMe to raise money for his recovery and lost wages.

DeGise's attorney says he's been contacted by an attorney for Black, saying that they intend to sue the councilwoman and Jersey City.

There's no word yet from the victim himself.

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