Senate Deputy Majority Leader Sandra Cunningham (D-Jersey City) has been charged with driving under the influence after an incident in Jersey City on Thursday morning, according to several sources with knowledge of today’s events.
Cunningham was involved in collision this morning involving three parked cars and was taken to Jersey City Medical Center.
There is no indication that the incident was alcohol related. The senator, who called police and waited about 30 minutes for a response, declined a field sobriety test.
“I suspect it was in reaction to her medication,” said former Gov. James E. McGreevey, who spent some time with Cunningham this afternoon.
The summons issued to Cunningham, which includes a presumption of innocence, does not preclude Cunningham from seeking re-election to her 31st district Senate seat this year.
Still, the issue could affect Cunningham’s expected bid to succeed Loretta Weinberg as Senate Majority Leader next year.
“She was shaken up, if not traumatized, by the accident,” said McGreevey, who was with Cunningham at the Jersey City police station. “I’ve visited her at her home and god willing, she’ll be out and about and back to her duties soon.”
McGreevey said he told Cunningham, “this too shall pass.”
Cunningham declined a field sobriety test, the New Jersey Globe has learned.
In 2006, Cunningham was found guilty of operating her vehicle under the influence of liquor or drugs in Jersey City. She had her license revoked for seven months and paid a $708 fine.
Later that year, Cunningham was charged with evading or attempting to evade payment of her fine.
She also had six violations of red light camera violations between 2012 and 2014.
State Sen. Robert Martin (R-Morris Plains) was convicted of DUI but did not resign from the Senate.
State Sen. Robert Singer (R-Lakewood) settled a lawsuit filed by a woman he seriously injured in a 2005 accident for $1.175 million. Singer struck 76-year-old Barbara Sara as she was walking across the street.
Cunningham, 70, won a Senate seat in 2007, three years after the death of her husband, Jersey City Mayor/State Sen. Glenn Cunningham.