The hit-and-run case against Jersey City Councilwoman Amy DeGise is being moved out of Hudson County, according to a clerk at the municipal court.
DeGise was caught on surveillance video hitting a bicyclist who had run a red light and then driving away on July 19th. Six hours later, she called the Jersey City Police Department to report the accident and she was charged with failure to report an accident, and with “action in case of accident” – a technical term for a hit-and-run.
DeGise is one of Jersey City’s three at-large city councilmembers, and until recently she served as the chair of the Hudson County Democratic Committee, which is widely considered to be one of the most powerful political machines in New Jersey. Her father is Tom DeGise, the Hudson County executive, and she has been considered the heir who would take over his political operation when he retires.
Now, activists and two city councilmen, James Solomon and Frank Gilmore, are calling for DeGise to resign. Mayor Steven Fulop, who is widely expected to run for governor in 2025, criticized DeGise but stopped short of calling for her resignation.
“Part of the reason there's been so little public comment from 95% of elected officials in Hudson County is that no one wants to upset the apple cart,” Solomon said.
DeGise’s prior election to county committee chair had been a contentious one — a rare open vote was held in 2018 that signaled conflict among Hudson County Democrats. But Solomon and others say major factions of the party carved out a power-sharing deal recently, ushering in a new peace.
“They don't want to sacrifice those private political deals, but in doing so, they are putting their political interests above the public's interest,” he said.
Activists say they’ll attend the City Council meeting on Wednesday to continue to pressure DeGise to resign.
Former City Councilman Chris Gadsen wrote an opinion column for Hudson County View suggesting Fulop and his slate of city councilmembers may be waiting until September 1st to pressure DeGise to resign. After that date, it would be too late to put the vacant seat on the ballot in November, and instead the council would appoint someone to fill the seat until the 2023 municipal election.
DeGise took office in January of this year and doesn’t face re-election until 2025.
Her case would most likely be moved to a court in Essex County, the clerk at the Jersey City court said.