Watch CBS News

Jersey City Councilwoman Amy DeGise pleads guilty to 2022 hit-and-run

Jersey City councilmember appears in court on hit-and-run charges
Jersey City councilmember appears in court on hit-and-run charges 02:22

NEWARK, N.J. -- A Jersey City councilwoman on Tuesday made her only court appearance in connection to a hit-and-run accident.

The case was moved to a different county to avoid any conflicts of interest.

Councilwoman Amy DeGise was in a Newark courtroom pleading guilty to leaving the scene of an accident last summer. She was caught on camera in her black Nissan Rogue hitting a bicyclist who had run a red light in Jersey City.

The councilwoman didn't slow down and kept on going.

When asked if she knew she had in fact struck a bicycle, DeGise said "Yes," and then responded, "No," when asked if she stopped to see if anyone was injured.

As part a deal, the judge dropped a second charge and slapped her with a $5,000 fine and took away her driver's license for a year.

FLASHBACKJersey City councilperson at-large Amy DeGise under pressure to resign after being accused in hit-and-run

The councilwoman's father, powerful Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, was in the courtroom Tuesday to support her.

Amy DeGise could have spent up to 180 days behind bars, but instead the judge reprimanded her.

"What if during that moment, that lapse of judgment, that terrible lapse in judgment, something even worse had occurred?" the judge said.

Amy DeGise reported the accident six hours later. Her attorney, Brian Neary, said alcohol wasn't involved.

"The individual who got hit on the bike received attention immediately, okay? So her judgement in leaving was wrong," Neary said.

Bicyclist Andrew Black, who was making an Uber Eats delivery, injured his ankle. He spoke to CBS2 last year.

"I was about to look right and then I got hit," Black said.

Two activists behind DeGise's attorney said the governor and Jersey City's mayor aren't speaking out because they're entrenched in Hudson County's Democratic political machine.

"Obviously, she thinks that she can escape consequences and get other people in position, whether it's the governor or Mayor Fulop, to stay quiet about this, and I think it's time for that to change," activist Kevin Bing said.

As part of the deal, anything Amy DeGise said in court cannot be used in a civil case. Her attorney said Black plans on suing her, as well as the city of Jersey City.

While Amy DeGise didn't apologize to the victim in court, she did release a statement that said, in part, "I made a mistake that I will regret for the rest of my life. I want to offer my heartfelt apology."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.