Another shining star of the Democratic Party.
Nine years ago, the now-mayor of New Jersey’s second-largest city was photographed naked on his front porch, right before an election. Pressed to explain, Jerramiah Healy chalked up the incident to a bad night of drinking.
Now, the Jersey City mayor — who won that 2004 race despite the naked photo flap — appears to be changing his story as he runs for re-election.
Healy gave a fresh, and notably more bizarre, account in an interview with the Star-Ledger in which he claimed he had actually been drawn outside that night by a group of noisy Hispanic girls — who proceeded to rip off the towel he was wearing and do “filthy” things.
The modified version has opened Healy, who’s been endorsed by President Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, up to a new round of criticism from his political rivals in advance of the election.
Healy’s had his share of public controversies. After he was elected mayor, he got into a highly publicized scuffle in 2006 with police officers outside a Bradley Beach bar owned by his sister. He was arrested and later fined for the incident.
Healy, in his campaign, has touted his crackdown on crime in Jersey City, as well as his pro-gun control stances. Healy is a founding member of Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns group. A spokesman for Healy told The Jersey Journal that events from 2004 “aren’t what matters” to Healy or the voters.
Oh yeah, it’s old news.
Take the naked photo incident. At the time, Healy acknowledged he had been drinking and said he could not remember what happened. Last week he offered a new version of the story with a bizarre sexual twist.
Now he says three young women woke him by banging trash cans outside his house, so he rose from bed, wrapped a towel around himself, and went to investigate.
“Three Hispanic girls, young kids,” he says. “So I go out on the porch and they pulled the towel off me. Now I start laughing, and then they started doing other stuff. I said, ‘I’m old enough to be your grandfather.’ ”
What other stuff?
“It was filthy,” he says. “I chased them away, and I just sat down.”