The New York State Senate on Tuesday confirmed Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas as an Associate Judge on the Court of Appeals, and her replacement is the first Black DA in county history.
The confirmation filled a key vacancy with a prosecutor and triggers an election this fall to select a new Nassau County district attorney.
Singas replaces Judge Leslie Stein, who is retiring in June. Acting District Attorney Joyce Smith, who was sworn in Wednesday afternoon, is a longtime special victims prosecutor.
It was a historic moment lost on no one, and a very candid reference to race.
“By representing the best in us, and by us, I will be very frank, I mean the Black community,” said Pastor A.R. Bernard, of the Christian Culture Center.
Smith is originally from Hollis, Queens, and graduated from the Howard University School of Law. She is the first African American DA and the third woman to serve the post in Nassau County history.
“We have a responsibility to the least among us,” Smith said. “We have a responsibility and a duty to the last in line.”
Smith previously served as the Executive Assistant District Attorney for the Community Relations Division of the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office since 2018, overseeing five program offices, including recruitment, immigrant affairs, victim services, school-based programming, and community affairs, as well as the Community Partnership Program Office in Hempstead, which works to combat gang and gun violence and promote efforts to reduce recidivism and build safer communities.
“What a solemn obligation we have, what powerful, awesome responsibilities we have,” Smith said. “We dare not ever take that for granted.”