The Jersey City councilwoman under fire for a hit-and-run crash has been ordered by a Hudson County court to pay a nearly $3,000 veterinarian bill.
Court records show that Oradell Animal Hospital in Paramus won a default judgment against embattled Councilwoman-at-Large Amy DeGise earlier this year after the councilwoman failed to pay $2,865 for services rendered.
The revelation of the judgment continues a disturbing pattern for DeGise, the daughter of Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise.
Aside from the July 19 hit-and-run — in which she struck a cyclist and only reported it six hours later — it was found that the first-year councilmember has accrued dozens of motor vehicle tickets (nine of them overdue and unpaid until recently) going back to 2006.
She had her vehicle towed in Secaucus in 2017 for a suspended license and had her vehicle towed again in Hoboken in November 2021 after it was illegally parked and had been struck by truck.
While unsuccessfully trying to use her connections to stop the vehicle from being towed, DeGise was informed by a police officer that the vehicle’s registration had expired in 2019.
The councilwoman has also been living in an apartment complex intended for low- to moderate-income families, even though she earns nearly $200,000 annually from her two taxpayer-funded jobs and also owns a home in the city.
The animal hospital’s complaint against the 36-year-old DeGise, who is an apprenticeship coordinator in the Career Planning and Development Department at the Hudson County Schools of Technology, was filed in October, but it could not be determined when she went to the vet.
Through a spokesman, DeGise said Thursday she was unaware of the legal action until the school district notified her that the court had ordered her wages be garnished to pay off the bill and an additional $500 in court fees.
Spokesman Phil Swibinski said DeGise never received any correspondence from the court and pointed out that her address on the court documents is incorrect. While she lives at 132 Audubon Ave., the court papers went to 140 Audubon Ave. — her boyfriend’s apartment in the same College Towers complex.
Still, DeGise is sticking with the claim she never received the notifications.
“I guess not,” Swibinski said when asked if DeGise was ever notified by her boyfriend about the mailings. “Maybe it never got to him.” Swibinski declined to provide any details on what brought DeGise to the animal hospital.
Theologia Papadelias, the attorney for the animal hospital, could not be reached for comment, but a representative for her law firm, Pressler, Felt & Warshaw LLP, declined to comment.
DeGise, who was elected in November on Mayor Steve Fulop’s slate, has resisted calls to resign the $85,000-a-year job since the city released video showing her strike cyclist Andrew Black with her SUV at the intersection of Martin Luther King Drive and Forrest Street and never even hit the brake.
Black, who was making an Uber Eats delivery and went through a red light, suffered minor injuries. He said he has retained an attorney for a possible lawsuit.
Jersey City councilmembers James Solomon and Frank Gilmore, who defeated Fulop-backed candidates in November, have called for her resignation. The mayor, other councilmembers and Gov. Phil Murphy have not gone that far, but also have not come out in support of DeGise.
An online petition urging her to resign has more than 4,800 signatures and scores of people attended a demonstration Saturday calling on her to step down.