Singas named to Court of Appeals, Smith appointed Nassau’s first black DA

Singas named to Court of Appeals, Smith appointed Nassau’s first black DA
Former Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, a resident of Manhasset, has officially been approved to serve on the New York State Court of Appeals. (Photo courtesy of Madeline Singas)

Following hearings early this week, former Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas has been confirmed by the State Senate to the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court.

Singas, a Manhasset resident, will fill a vacancy left by Judge Leslie Stein, who retired last week, and will take a 14-year term on the court.

She will be succeeded by Joyce Smith, a longtime Nassau County assistant district attorney and special victims prosecutor, who will become the county’s first black DA.

Singas’ confirmation came after a longer-than-expected 90 minutes of questioning in the Senate Tuesday and was preceded by a joint statement from five progressive Democratic senators who objected to her status as the latest prosecutor nominated to the court, which is largely led by former prosecutors.

“The minute I am confirmed, my prosecutor’s hat comes off and stays off,” Singas said in response to their questions.

Following questioning, the senate voted 37-26 to install Singas.

A native of Astoria, Queens, and the daughter of Greek immigrants, Singas obtained a B.A. in political science from Barnard College at Columbia University and a J.D. from Fordham Law School before serving as an assistant district attorney in Queens from 1991 to 2006 in multiple roles.

She later served as the chief assistant district attorney of Nassau County and head of its first Special Victims Bureau before being appointed to succeed now-U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City). She was elected in 2015 and was re-elected in 2019.

Smith of Hempstead is the executive assistant DA for the Nassau DA’s Community Relations Division. Smith is scheduled to be sworn into her position as acting district attorney by Singas on Wednesday afternoon, with the position effective immediately.

Since Singas left office over 90 days before the next general election, the state will hold a special election to replace her, the date and candidates have not yet been annoucned.

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