Senator Kenny Speaks

8/11/2007 Update:

It seems as if it was Kenny’s inability to watch where he was walking that caused him to fall and get hit by a car. If what he recalls is accurate, this serves as a reminder to not take your safety for granted, especially near heavy moving objects.

“I was running late and stepped between two cars, but there was a depression with some gravel and I slipped and fell on all fours,” he said. “I fell on the knuckles of my hands and severely scraped them.

“I don’t really recall everything because it’s fuzzy, but I sensed danger and pushed up on my knuckles, and that action probably saved my life. I can’t be sure, but I believe a car turned the corner and probably didn’t see me on my hands and knees when I was smacked – about 35 miles per hour. I practically just woke up at the (Jersey City) Medical Center.”

Here’s a follow-up for the story that Hoboken411 (and it’s readers) broke:

Kenny calls, grateful for every card of support
Saturday, August 11, 2007

hoboken-nj-senator-bernard-kenny-injured-july-18-2007.jpg“What matters to me is that I’m alive – that I’ll have time with my kids and that I’ll still be able to do things in my life that were almost taken from me.”

To the caller, this was the most important part of the conversation. It was partially what drove him to speak to me yesterday and it is now his entire focus for the next few months.

The voice on the other end of the line was slow but deliberate. At times it was very low and it sounded very much as if he was medicated. Yet, it was distinctive and recognizable.

Senate Majority Leader Bernard Kenny, D-Hoboken, was calling from the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine at the New York University Medical Center.

On July 18, a rainy Wednesday morning, Kenny was discovered crumpled and bloody on the 800 block of Bloomfield Street in Hoboken, near his house.

car-hitting-pedestrian-hoboken.jpg

Kenny told police at the scene that he tripped and fell during his morning jog, but doctors later told investigators that the extent and location of his injuries were not “consistent” with a fall, sparking an investigation into the possibility that Kenny was a victim of a hit and run.

How did yesterday’s conversation come about?

While on the telephone with another politician, my phone made that annoying sound warning that another caller was on the line. The intruder’s numbers came on a screen. When the initial call was completed, the familiar numbers were tapped. It was Bernie.

“Did I call you?” he asked. “I thought I was answering your call.”

Kenny’s voice was clearly recognizable but sounded off a bit. Considering the police reports about the extent of his injuries, was Kenny on heavy medication?

“I’m always medicated – I’ll be going into surgery in an hour and a half,” he explained. “My right leg is in very bad shape. It goes in four different directions and they’re going in. My other leg has a hairline fracture.”

Kenny said his doctors talked to him extensively Thursday about the surgery. What was shocking was when the senator said there was the outside possibility of amputation below the knee. He felt confident that would not happen.

“I’ll probably start moving with a walker and eventually a cane, but I’ll have a limp for the rest of my life,” he said.

Among the other injuries he received was a broken ear drum that was repaired with bone and cartilage, lost skin from his face, broken pelvis, five lateral fractures on his spine, a broken nose (“at the same place where I broke it years before”) and various other head injuries.

“I have 28 ‘hot spots’ on my body that they are concerned with,” he said.

Why did Kenny decide to call this columnist? And why now?

“I feel a compulsion – I suffered a traumatic experience – I’m at the most important point in my life,” he tried to explain. “I’ve received a couple of hundred cards, besides from friends and others I know, many from just regular people who are offering a lot of support.

“How I handle my recovery is very important. I just can’t go into a shell. I want to make certain that I am always honest, straightforward and resolute.”

Then what happened that fateful morning in the rain?

“I wasn’t jogging,” he said.

Kenny said he was on his way to a meeting on Washington Street.

“I was running late and stepped between two cars, but there was a depression with some gravel and I slipped and fell on all fours,” he said. “I fell on the knuckles of my hands and severely scraped them.

“I don’t really recall everything because it’s fuzzy, but I sensed danger and pushed up on my knuckles, and that action probably saved my life. I can’t be sure, but I believe a car turned the corner and probably didn’t see me on my hands and knees when I was smacked – about 35 miles per hour. I practically just woke up at the (Jersey City) Medical Center.”

He said he was unaware of the rumors and conspiracies that were being bandied about on how he was injured. Other than conversations with family and some friends, he has been out of touch with the outside world.

Kenny’s 33rd District term in office is running out. He decided not to run in the June Democratic primary, which was won by Union City Mayor and Assemblyman Brian P. Stack. What is the incumbent’s future with Trenton?

While insisting that he will be 100 percent focused on his recovery over the next 100 days, Kenny insists that he wants to finish his Senate term.

“It’s important to me to complete my time as majority leader,” he said.

The conversation ended when the senator said he would like to get some sleep before surgery.

7/19/2007 Update 2:

Countless pedestrians get knocked around like pinballs in Hoboken, yet very little is done to help improve safety. Now that a prominent state politician may be a victim of a hit and run, who’s taking bets that something will FINALLY be done about it? And if so, why does it take a very publicized event for action to be taken?

Police: Kenny’s injuries not consistent with fall

Doctors have told investigators that state Sen. Bernard Kenny’s injuries are not “consistent” with a fall, as he told police, and an investigation into the incident is now underway by the Hoboken Police Department and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.

Police responded to reports of a man lying between two parked cars on the 800 block of Bloomfield Street at 6:54 a.m. yesterday morning. Police arrived and found Kenny, 60, sitting on a curb outside 808 Bloomfield St. bleeding from his forehead and knee, police said. Kenny told the responding officers that he tripped in a pothole during his morning jog, police said. Kenny’s home is less than two blocks from where police found him.

However, doctors at the Jersey City Medical Center told police last night that the extent and location of the injuries – a broken right fibula, four fractures in his pelvis, a fractured nose, and a dislocated right shoulder – are not consistent with what Kenny told police.

The news prompted Hoboken police to canvass homes in and around the 800 block of Bloomfield last night, asking residents whether they heard or saw anything that might provide clues, according to police.

“Some say they heard a screeching sound and a thump,” a police source said. “Others say (Kenny) was crawling in the street.”

In addition, Hoboken police stopped cars this morning near the scene of the accident and asked drivers if they saw anything. The questions did not prove fruitful, police said.

Police say Kenny can not recollect anything from the yesterday morning other than it was raining.

“The lack of recollection is consistent with a traumatic event, and doctors tell us that he should begin to remember something soon. We hope to interview him as early as tomorrow,” the police source said.

Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said “the nature of the injuries and their extent suggest it could be a hit and run.”

DeFazio noted that the fact that Kenny’s shoe was found later on the street is “consistent” with being hit by a car.

DeFazio’s office is not the lead investigator of the incident but it is assisting with the investigation due to the fact that Kenny, the senate majority leader, is a high profile figure.

7/19/2007 Update:

hoboken-cover-up.jpgThere is a lot of conflicting information about exactly what happened to Sen. Kenny. Here is what another witness added:

“The other news reports are not accurate. He did not appear to be jogging (at least on purpose). He stated he was on his way to a meeting and he was obviously not dressed for a jog since he was wearing work clothes. He was also not clear about what had occurred since he kept stating that he did not know what happened to him. He also stated he was on Garden Street and not Bloomfield Street. They got it really wrong, but they’re basing it on his recollection, and not witnesses. He may be trying to reclaim some sort of privacy with this incident.”

Not that I’m necessarily overly concerned with the “story” here, but it would be nice to hear the actual truth of what happened (now that it’s already public knowledge). How do you lose a shoe, a hat and have your cell phone end up so far away? Who talks on the phone they’re jogging anyway? How do you break a femur after you “trip”? Who wears “work clothes” while jogging?

I sincerely hope Mr. Kenny is OK, as he is a local Hobokenite, however, perhaps he is still a little befuddled. Who would want to talk about an embarrassing incident like this? (Well, I’ve actually fallen on my face after a few too many, but that’s another story). But it stinks when you’re a public figure like he is and events like this make the news, especially in Hudson County where there is a history of covering up “incidents” involving public officials.

Something is just not right here, especially with Kenny’s law partner Ed Florio spreading information about him being “hit by a car” and calling for the press to “respect his privacy and the privacy of his family”, which is a public relations euphemism for “don’t dig too deep here to find the truth, just take our word for it about what happened.”

So be it. Whatever the case, get well Bernie!

7/18/2007 5:50pm:

Kenny told police he tripped in a pothole, reports say
State Sen. Bernard Kenny, D-Hoboken, who is in the Jersey City Medical Center with injuries sustained this morning, told police he tripped in a pothole, reports say.

Police responded to reports of a man lying between two parked cars on the 800 block of Bloomfield Street at 6:54 a.m., according to police. Police arrived on the scene and found Kenny sitting on a curb outside with blood coming from his forehead and knee, police said.

He told the responding officers that he tripped in a pothole during his morning jog, police said. Kenny’s home is less than two blocks from where police found him.

Police called an ambulance and Kenny, 60, was taken to the Medical Center, the nearest trauma center, reports said.

His daughter, who asked that her name not be used, said this afternoon that her father had broken bones in his pelvis, knee and face.

A spokesman for the Medical Center, John McKeegan, described the senator as in fair condition today.

His law partner, Ed Florio, said he was “severely injured.”

1:00pm:
From what an anonymous reader tells Hoboken411, local resident Senator Bernard Kenny was found this morning dazed and bloody near the intersection of 8th and Bloomfield.

It’s still unknown as to how this may have happened. Another pedestrian vs. vehicle incident? Or just plain clumsiness? Either way, hope he’s ok!

hoboken-nj-senator-bernard-kenny-injured-july-18-2007.jpgAround 7 am this morning, my boyfriend and I were coming out of our apt near 8th and Bloomfield and I noticed a man lying on the corner / curb in front of 808 Bloomfield. My initial thought was that he was a homeless guy who was sleeping on the street. But then I realized it was pouring and who would sleep between two parked cars in the street/ sidewalk?

After a second I realized that what I thought was dirt on his face was actually blood. He had a larger gash on his forehead and blood was streaming down his face. He also had large cuts on his hand and his knee was bent in a manner that knees should never ever bend. It looked like something you see on TV. I asked him if he was alright and a neighbor leaning out of her window told me she had already called the cops. The Police and ambulance arrived very quickly.

He seemed confused. The police asked him what had happened and he said that he had fallen. The police found his hat and one shoe about 2 parked cars down from us. They kept asking if he may have been hit by a car but, he said he wasn’t sure what happened and that he thought he tripped in a pothole. He seemed a little dazed and stated that he thought he was on Garden St. When we finally walked off, I found his cell phone open as if he had been talking to someone; the battery was out of the phone and the back was off as well. The phone was roughly 1 building in from the northwest corner of 8 and Bloomfield.

I called the police a little later to see if he was okay and that is when the officer told me it was Senator Kenny.

That whole scene was horrible. I have never seen something like that before and it didn’t sit right with me. I hope he will be okay.

I can’t believe that a person could do that much harm to him / herself by tripping. I could be wrong but, it looked like he had been hit by a car and the Police kept asking him if he had been hit by a car. We never heard a thing before this.

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138 Comments on "Senator Kenny Speaks"

krewedetat
Member
krewedetat

[quote comment=”35853″]the Reporter front page story on Kenny’s injury stated that one of his big accomplishments was securing funding for the jubilee Center. everyone saw that right? seperation of church and state? your tax dollars going to build an office building for a group that PAYS NO TAXES.[/quote]

strand, funding for the construction of the Jubilee Center came from a combination of public and private sources. The public funding came from legislation put together mostly by Republicans like George Bush the father at the fed level and Christine Whitman in NJ who supported “faith-based initiatives” as a way to provide social services (the Jubilee Center is not an office building, it houses programs for children and families). They said these organizations had a record of success and deserved government support.

The argument about taxes and separation of church and state is not cut and dry on the partisan level.

shoegirl
Member
shoegirl

i don’t believe the man was drinking… And, even if he was that would not make it okay for someone to run over a person and keep going.

Tama Murden
Member

Sad to say, but it’s well-known, under the radar…

Was Mr. Kenny’s blood-alcohol level tested when he was admitted to the hospital?

shoegirl
Member
shoegirl

Does Hoboken have a rehabilitation center? I don’t believe they do….

People in the neighborhood reported hearing a car screeching and then a loud thump… Maybe the driver didn’t see him until it was too late but, how could they have just driven off. That part just makes me sick.

freewheelin
Member

I notice he was smart enough to go to NYU to rehabilitate, not the so-called “Hoboken University” Medical Center. What dos that tell you about his trust in the local facility?

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