In a story published over the weekend, Healy recalled the infamous 2004 incident in which he was photographed passed out and naked on the porch of his Ferry Street home.
According to the Star-Ledger, Healy says that “three Hispanic girls, young kids” were banging trash cans outside his home and awoke him. He said he went outside, wrapped in a towel, to investigate and the girls snatched the towel away from him.
“I start laughing, and then they started doing other stuff,” Healy is quoted as saying in the newspaper. “I said, ‘I’m old enough to be your grandfather.’ ”
The “stuff” the girls were doing, he said, was “filthy.”
Back in 2004, Healy said that he had been drinking at home the night of the incident, but did not remember how he ended up naked on the porch.
Calling Healy’s comments in the Star-Ledger “derogatory,” several Latino community leaders who support Fulop held a demonstration and press conference today demanding that Healy come clean about the details of that night.
“When the mayor of the second largest city in New Jersey comes out and says ‘three Hispanic young girls’ did dirty things to him, it’s such a slander to the women,” said Lopez. “You don’t trash us like that. We don’t raise our kids like that.”
Former City Councilman Junior Maldonado and former City Councilman Jamie Vazquez were among those who attended the event. City Councilwoman Nidia Lopez, City Councilwoman Diane Coleman, City Councilman Rolando Lavarro Jr., Daniel Rivera, and Rev. Joyce Watterman – who are all running on Fulop’s mayoral slate – were also in attendance.
“This isn’t a political issue. This is a woman’s issue,” said Watterman, president of the Jersey City chapter of the Women’s Political Caucus. “People still say all kinds of things against minority women. It’s not acceptable. It’s harmful. It’s hurtful. Women still have to stand up and fight for their dignity and what’s right.”
Meanwhile, supporters of Mayor Healy held their own counter demonstration at City Hall, just yards away from the Fulop event.
Chanting “Don’t suppress my vote,” in both English and Spanish, the Healy supporters called on Fulop to stop “race baiting.”
“They’re trying to put the mayor in a bad light as being anti-Latino, when, in fact, if you look at the record, the mayor has had one of the most supportive administration of Latinos in years,” said Craig Guy, who is working with the Healy campaign. “We have three Latinos on our ticket. That’s precedent-setting. The mayor nominated a Latino to be the head municipal judge for Jersey City, which Fulop and his allies on the City Council voted against.”
In a press release issued Monday, the Healy campaign stated, “Team Healy council candidates Omar Perez (at-Large), Janet Chevres (Ward C), and Rev. Mario Gonzalez (Ward D) released the following statement regarding the Fulop Campaign’s deplorable, race-baiting distraction from both the issues that matter to voters and from the Fulop campaign’s pay-to-play and voter suppression scandals.”
The statement said the Fulop campaign has “taken their campaign into the gutter” as an attempt to distract voters from issues like pay to play.
In response, Fulop spokesman Bruno Tedeschi said, “This is not an effort to suppress the vote at all. We’re letting everybody know how Mayor Healy feels about the Latino community.” – E. Assata Wright