Manhasset resident takes oath as county’s top prosecutor

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Manhasset resident Madeline Singas took the oath of office as Nassau County’s acting district attorney on Tuesday, succeeding newly sworn-in U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City). 

Singas, 48, was previously the top assistant prosecutor to Rice, who in November was elected to represent the 4th Congressional District in Washington after nine years as district attorney.

In a statement, Singas said she has “very big shoes to fill” in replacing Rice but is “honored and privileged to represent this office and the 1.3 million residents of Nassau.” 

“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,” she said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo may formally appoint Singas or someone else to replace her as acting district attorney. If he takes no action, Singas, a Democrat, will serve through the end of the year. 

A general election for a four-year term would follow in November.

Jay Jacobs, Nassau Democratic chairman, said he will not make his Democratic endorsement until the end of the month, but that Singas has said she wants to run in the election. 

“I’m looking for a professional prosecutor who will focus their attention on political corruption in a fair-minded and balanced way,” Jacobs said. “I’m also looking for somebody who can win the general election.”

Jacobs added that Singas’ overall career provides a good platform for her to be elected District Attorney and serve well in that capacity. 

Singas told reporters following a brief ceremony in Mineola that she plans to seek the position but declined to disclose whether she had spoken with the governor.

“I can’t comment on our personal conversations, but I’ve heard that I will be either in an acting capacity or the appointed district attorney for Nassau County,” she told Newsday. “But he obviously has many things on his mind this month.”

Rice was sworn in Tuesday in Washington. She cast a vote for Nancy Pelosi (D-California) for the House Speaker position that went to John Boehner (R-Ohio), who was re-elected to the post for a third term.    

Singas, a mother of two, graduated from Fordham Law School and later joined the Queens District Attorney’s Office in 1991. 

There, Singas quickly rose to a leadership position in the agency’s Domestic Violence bureau. 

She joined Rice’s office in 2006 as the head of the county’s newly-formed Special Victim’s Bureau. 

Adam Lidgett also contributed reporting

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