SOURCES: State Sen. Sandra Cunningham arrested for suspicion of DWI following 3-car MVA

State Sen. Sandra Cunningham (D-31) was involved in a motor vehicle crash involving three separate cars and was arrested for suspicion of DWI, per JCPD sources.

State Sen. Sandra Cunningham

State Sen. Sandra Cunningham (D-31) (Photo: City of Jersey City)

Multiple Jersey City Police Department (JCPD) sources have notified Real Garden State that state Sen. Sandra Cunningham (D-31) has been arrested for suspicion of DWI following a motor vehicle accident (MVA) this morning. Per sources, key details include:

  1. The MVA occurred at approximately 9:30 AM on Culver Avenue near Route 440.
  2. The incident involved three other vehicles.
  3. Cunningham was taken to the Jersey City Medical Center during the investigation and was later brought to the Jersey City Municipal Court for criminal processing. It’s not clear whether an Alcotest was performed, but sources say a warrant to draw bodily fluids from Cunningham was signed by a judge.

The JCPD South District cops that initially responded to the scene requested a supervisor and DWI operator. Footage of Cunningham during the initial aftermath was recorded on police bodycam. Per sources with knowledge, the video supposedly captured:

  1. Cunningham deny being under the influence and claim the incident was not a big deal.
  2. Request officers contact Jersey City Public Safety Director James Shea.
  3. Cunningham claims she thought two parked cars struck by the vehicle she was operating were actually snowbanks.

Additionally, sources say JCPD Capt. Joseph Olszewski, a political ally of Cunningham, responded to the incident in an off-duty capacity. Olszewski supposedly attempted to persuade Sgt. Maria Cortes, the supervisor on scene, to drop the investigation.

According to Politico NJ’s Matt Friedman, Cunningham’s top advisor, Joe Cardwell, confirmed the state senator was uninjured after she “crashed into some parked cars this morning.” Cardwell said she was taken to Jersey City Medical Center for testing, but didn’t know what she was being tested for.

Speaking off-the-record to Real Garden State, a source close to Cunningham denied the state senator was under the influence of drugs/alcohol. They believe she had a medical episode which was misconstrued by law enforcement.

A spokesperson for the City of Jersey City did not respond to an email seeking comment on Cunningham’s arrest. If/when that occurs, this story will be updated.

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