Jersey City Councilwoman Amy DeGise doubled down on her decision not to resign amid calls to do so after she allegedly hit a bicyclist in her car last month before fleeing the scene.
During a city council meeting Wednesday night, DeGise addressed personal attacks and pushed back on her critics who are calling for her resignation. She said they should wait until the legal process unfolds before commenting further on the situation. About 100 people spoke at the meeting that was open to the public. Most speakers called for DeGise to resign. Only a few expressed support.
"When the legal process in traffic court is finished, I will have more to say and I can address outstanding concerns and questions. And in the meantime, I'm not resigning," she plainly said, following more than two hours of hearing from members of the community.
"For those who call for my resignation, you are heard and I understand that you have concerns and questions that I respect and would enjoy any type of dialogue or discussion with you after I go to court," the Jersey City councilwoman added.
The comments come as the councilwoman stands accused of speeding through an intersection in her SUV and hitting Andrew Black, 29, who was on a bicycle, leaving him with deep bruising.
Both parties differ on who had the right-of-way in the apparent hit-and-run accident, but DeGise still faced calls to resign as she allegedly fled the scene.
In her remarks Wednesday, the councilwoman pushed back on personal attacks and suggested she was also a victim in the situation.
"I do not identify with the perception that you have of me, but adversity does make us work harder," she added. "To those of you who believe in me, thank you. And to those of you who don’t, thank you for making me want to be a better leader."
"I hope no one here is ever subjected to this amount of trauma," she said. "But if you are, I will have your back. I will speak out for you and I will make sure that no one puts you or your loved ones through this."
"This has only made me stronger and I will use that strength to fight for the issues that help every resident," DeGise added.
The councilwoman started her remarks by saying she felt horrible about the situation and wanted to continue to deal with the issue privately.
"I'm a private person, more than you think. I know everyone thinks I enjoy this public eye [but], I'm a very private person," DeGise said. "And, I would like to deal with this privately and I would like that respect but it has gone vulgar."
DeGise also addressed those who have supported her since the alleged incident.
"I'm appreciative of everyone who came out and had to stay tonight. I'm appreciative and so grateful for the people who have reached out to support me or just want to wait until that court process goes on to ask me any further questions [or] to pry anymore. I cannot make it through these days without you."
"I remain committed to this position on the Council, no matter your perception of me. Please know that my commitment is genuine, as is my love for Jersey City, and it is as strong as ever. Thank you."
Traffic camera video released by city officials showed a black SUV allegedly driven by DeGise failing to slow or stop before or after striking the cyclist at the intersection of Forrest Street and Martin Luther King Drive on July 19.
The councilwoman said she did not have a court date for the alleged offense.
Fox News' Jeremy Copas and Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.