Madeline Singas, the chief assistant Nassau County prosecutor, was sworn in as the acting district attorney Tuesday, when her former boss, Kathleen Rice, took the congressional seat she won on Election Day.
Singas, who was Rice’s chosen successor, plans to run in a special election this fall to keep the county’s top law enforcement job if Gov. Andrew Cuomo declines to name a replacement. But the governor—who is mourning the recent death of his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo—has not made his plans known. Nassau County Democratic and Republican party leaders have not officially named any candidates, either.
“I am honored and privileged to represent this office and the 1.3 million residents of Nassau as I continue our office’s commitment to integrity and the fairest administration of justice,” Singas said in a statement. “As DA Rice’s Chief Assistant for the last four years and as a lifelong prosecutor before that, I will make sure that there’s a smooth transition at the District Attorney’s Office. I’m looking forward to continuing to refine many of the innovative programs that we initiated during the last nine years, and ensuring that Nassau County continues to be one of the safest big counties in the United States.”
The 48-year-old Manhasset resident had previously served as chief of the Special Victims Bureau, which prosecutes sex crimes, child abuse and domestic violence cases. Singas replaced Rice’s prior chief assistant, Meg Reiss, when Reiss moved to London four years ago.
After Rice won the seat held by former Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola), a campaign committee dubbed “Friends of Madeline Singas” was filed with the New York State Board of Elections, care of Manhattan-based Tucker Green Consulting, Inc., and madelinesingasforda.com was established.
“Madeline is an innovative, highly decorated career prosecutor who will work tirelessly to keep our office on the forefront of effective, smart law enforcement,” Rice had said in a statement announcing Singas’ June 2011 appointment as her chief assistant. “From murder to domestic violence to child abuse, Madeline brings with her a wealth of experience handling some of our county’s most serious cases.”
Among the high-profile prosecutions under Singas’ belt are the case against Edgar Sanchez, who was convicted of murdering his girlfriend and dumping her body in Sands Point, and the trial of Leonardo Valdez-Cruz, who is serving life in prison for killing his ex-girlfriend, Jo’Anna Bird. Singas also discovered that a Hofstra University student who claimed to be gang raped by five male students in a dormitory bathroom had fabricated the allegation. In addition, Singas was the chief prosecutor on a panel Rice had commissioned to review the 1988 sex abuse conviction of Jesse Friedman.
Before working in Nassau, Singas started her career as a prosecutor in 1991 in Queens, where she eventually became chief of the Domestic Violence Bureau. The married mother of two graduated from Barnard College and Fordham University School of Law.