A lawyer for state Sen. Sandra B. Cunningham entered a not responsible plea on her behalf throughout a Thursday municipal courtroom listening to on Cunningham’s drunken driving and careless driving charges.
The senator was arrested and charged after police say she struck two parked vehicles in Jersey Metropolis on March 4. Physique digicam footage of the arrest reveals Cunningham, 70, a Hudson County Democrat, stated she was “unsteady” and was unable to finish a sobriety take a look at.
The case was moved to Bergen County to keep away from any conflicts of curiosity. The prosecutor is Linda Schwager, the Oakland mayor.
Cunningham was not current throughout Thursday’s listening to, which was transient. Schwager stated she doesn’t have any of the invention supplies, together with the physique digicam footage.
“Apparently extra folks have discovery than I do,” she stated, an obvious reference to NorthJersey.com and The Record obtaining and publishing the footage last week.
Movies from the arrest present Cunningham twice requested police whether or not Jersey Metropolis’s public security director, James Shea, would come to the scene. Her legal professional, Michael Rubas, didn’t reply to an electronic mail asking why Cunningham needed Shea current.
It’s not clear what sort of political repercussions, if any, Cunningham might face. She is up for reelection this yr, however she has no Democratic challenger in subsequent week’s major and her Republican opponent faces an inhospitable local weather within the thirty first District, which incorporates Bayonne and elements of Jersey Metropolis. Democrats outnumber Republicans there six-to-one.
Micah Rasmussen, director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider College, stated a key distinction between Cunningham’s case and related episodes is voters are actually in management right here.
“We have had gubernatorial appointees who grew to become ensnared in their very own ‘have you learnt who I’m’ visitors stops, however in these circumstances, they served on the pleasure of the governor till they misplaced the help of their appointers,” he stated.
Caren Turner resigned as a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey commissioner in 2018 after video footage showed her tirade against police officers who had stopped her daughter in Tenafly. Then-Legal professional Common Zulima Farber give up in 2006 after investigators questioned the ethics of her arriving in a state automotive to the scene of a visitors cease involving her companion.
Terrence T. McDonald is a reporter for NorthJersey.com. For limitless entry to an important information out of your local people, please subscribe or activate your digital account at present.