DeGise finally breaks silence – will not resign over hit-and-run in Jersey City, NJ
For those calling on Jersey City Councilwoman Amy DeGise to resign, she hears you. She just isn't going to do it.
DiGise has largely been silent since she was arrested for fleeing the scene of an accident July 19. DeGise was captured on video hitting a bicyclist at an intersection, and never stopping.
In the weeks since the accident, various media outlets uncovered a long history of driving infractions, license suspensions and unpaid parking tickets. There were also reports DeGise lives in low-income housing despite making nearly $200,000 a year.
All of this has prompted protests from members of the public and at least two fellow councilmembers to call for DeGise to resign.
At Wednesday night's council meeting, a number of residents used the public comment period to confront DeGise and again demand for her to step down.
"A hit-and-run is completely inexcusable conduct by anyone," said one resident, "Much less an elected official."
DeGise sat quietly and listened to the parade of public criticism and calls for her resignation.
Then, she finally spoke.
"For those who call for my resignation you are heard,” DeGise said, but she would not be stepping down.
Although she said she felt "horrible" about the crash, she would not be answering any questions or commenting on the incident due to pending litigation. The cyclist she hit was injured, but survived.
"I understand there are questions and legitimate concerns and you have every right to feel that way and to have them and to ask them," DeGise said, "I am more than happy to answer them after the court process."
DeGise claims she is a "private person," and decried those who have become "obsessed" with this situation and have subjected her and her family to threats. She claimed some have called for her to be "raped and murdered."
The daughter of Hudson County Executive and Democratic power broker Tom DeGise, the councilwoman has the strong support of her father. The elder DeGise launched into an attack of her critics on social media this week.
Tom DeGise specifically attacked the Jersey Journal newspaper for their exposure of his daughter's driving record and use of low income housing. He also complained about other social media commentary attacking his daughter.
“The social media posts contain the most vile language I have ever seen with liberal use of the F word and the C word,” DeGise said. “In a society where public figures are targets of violence the JJ (Jersey Journal) is painting a target on Amy's back. This matter will be adjudicated in a court room not by a lynch mob carrying torches and pitchforks.”
Tom DeGise has announced that he will not seek another term. A spokesman for Amy DeGise says she plans to serve the remainder of her term on the council, but it is unclear if she has plans to seek another term.