I have seen the video, and I have read the various comments from the public. Given the available information, I still maintain that Amy DeGise should vacate her seat on the council immediately. The public’s demand for DeGise’s resignation will only increase as she stubbornly holds on to her council seat. This incident is not going to be swept under the “political carpet.”
I have been writing “letters to the editor” since 1973. A number of my articles, from the mid-1970’s and early 1980’s, have addressed the total disregard for the “rules of the road” that some cyclists have. To this day, a number of bicyclists continue to be reckless and a menace on the road. That said, given the video, it appears that Andrew Black ran the red light, which is a traffic violation.
By the same token, as revealed by the video, Amy DeGise failed to stop, offer assistance, and immediately contact the police. Instead, as the video clearly shows, Amy DeGise continued to drive her SUV; she didn’t even bother to “brake” after the collision. In New Jersey, a driver involved in an accident is legally obligated to stop his / her vehicle. Amy DeGise did not do so. She left the scene of an accident, and she reported that accident six hours after the incident had occurred.
Had Amy DeGise behaved responsibly on July 19 by stopping, offering to help Andrew Black, and promptly contacting the police, then the thunderous public outcry calling for her resignation would be nothing more than a mere, meaningless whisper. The story would have been – it could have been – about how Amy DeGise was involved in a traffic accident with a bicyclist who ran a red light. But, given DeGise’s actions on July 19, that is no longer the case.
Perhaps Amy DeGise was “confused.” Then again, it is quite possible that Amy DeGise spent the six hours prior to reporting the accident to the police discussing “options” with her “counselor.” One can argue that Amy DeGise decided to report the accident when it was convenient for her to do so.
The “who caused the accident” question became irrelevant after Amy DeGise fled the scene of the accident. The question has now been elevated to one of “political privilege.” No one, especially an elected official, is above the law — and that goes for a Hudson County “Princess” as well. If anything, an elected official should be held to a higher standard. By leaving the scene of the accident, Amy DeGise behaved with callous, arrogant impunity, as if her elected position, her family connections, and her political associations entitle her to an aristocratic exemption from the consequences of her actions, her “tremendous mistake.”
Granted, Amy DeGise is entitled to due process. However, her total disregard for the law; namely, leaving the scene of an accident and failing to report that accident in a timely manner, is an embarrassment to Jersey City’s Council and the current administration.
Having said that, Amy DeGise should be held accountable for her actions on July 19. She should accept responsibility; and, by doing so, Amy DeGise should do the honorable thing. She should immediately step down from the city’s council. Amy DeGise’s continued presence on the council further impugns the credibility and reputation of that body.
John Di Genio