GR US

Greek-American Madeline Singas Sworn in to Serve on New York’s Highest Court

The National Herald

Madeline Singas, seated, was sworn in as an Associate Judge on the New York State Court of Appeals, the highest court in New York, with her husband Theo Apostolou, and their children, Vassili and Demetra, present. Photo: Courtesy of Madeline Singas

NEW YORK – Greek-American Madeline Singas, formerly Nassau County's District Attorney, was confirmed on June 8 by the New York State Senate in a 37-26 vote to serve as an Associate Judge on the New York Court of Appeals. Singas was nominated by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on May 25 to serve on New York State's highest court.

Prior to her confirmation, Singas served as Nassau County District Attorney overseeing a successful crackdown on drugs and was a leader in the crusade of getting weapons off the streets of Long Island. Singas was the first Greek-American woman to be a district attorney of a county in the United States and she is the first Greek-American to ever serve on the New York Court of Appeals.

She was sworn in by the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, Janet DiFiore, in the presence of her husband Theo Apostolou, and their children Vassili and Demetra.

Singas earned her law degree at Fordham Law School after earning her Bachelor's degree in Political Science at Barnard College. The daughter of Greek immigrants from Epirus, she was born in Astoria, Queens, and graduated from St. Demetrios High School in Astoria.

"As district attorney, Singas has championed access to justice for all, including creation of an Immigrant Affairs Office to focus on crimes against immigrants," Cuomo said when he announced her nomination, Patch reported. "She dedicated unprecedented resources to restorative justice work through the creation of the Community Partnership Program to match those in need of services with the tools they need to better integrate back to the community post-incarceration."

Now one of seven judges on the bench in the Court of Appeals, Singas continues to make the Greek community proud. The National Herald reached out to judges and lawyers in the community for their reaction to her confirmation.

The Hon. Michael Hartofilis, a judge for the Bronx County Criminal Court in the Twelfth Judicial District of New York, told TNH: “I first met Madeline Singas when she started in the Queens District Attorneys Office. I have known her personally and professionally for the past 30 years. Singas has always possessed the integrity, intellect and temperament required of a successful jurist. She has always upheld the highest standards of our legal profession. She not only makes us proud as Americans but as Greek-Americans as well. She has distinguished herself in public service and will continue to serve with distinction in New York’s highest court. It would not surprise me to see her reach the United States Supreme Court in the future.”

Hellenic Lawyers Association President Michael Tiliakos stated the following: “The Hellenic Lawyers Association of New York congratulates the Honorable Madeline Singas on her well-deserved appointment to the New York State Court of Appeals. Mrs. Singas, a longtime member of HLA, is a shining example of dedication, hard work, and integrity, and is the embodiment of Hellenism and the American Dream. All Greeks and New Yorkers wish her, and Anthony Cannataro [also appointed to the Court of Appeals], continued success.”

George Stamboulidis, co-chair of BakerHostetler's White Collar Defense Team, currently a partner in the prominent national law firm of BakerHostetler in New York, also spoke with TNH about the appointment. Formerly the chief of the Long Island Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, he successfully prosecuted and defended numerous Long Island white collar and public corruption cases. Stamboulidis has successfully tried dozens of complex criminal and civil jury trials. He is regularly engaged by corporations and their officers to conduct internal investigations and advise and defend against regulatory and criminal actions.

Stamboulidis told TNH: “We are very fortunate to have Madeline Singas, who was the first Greek-American and the second woman to serve as the top law enforcement official of Nassau County, to now be the first Greek-American to serve on the New York Court of Appeals. Madeline, a person of great integrity and legal intellect, has throughout her career demonstrated a keen sense of fairness in the enforcement of our laws. Under her leadership, Nassau is now one of the safest counties in the country. While that is remarkable on its own, it is all the more impressive that, together with her other law enforcement partner agencies, she accomplished this while at the same time dedicating significant of her office’s limited resources to alternatives to incarceration. It was nice that as one of her first official acts on the bench, Madeline swore in as Nassau County District Attorney Joyce Smith, who is an accomplished career prosecutor and is now Nassau’s first African-American DA.”

Andreas Koutsoudakis said: “On behalf of KI Legal, I congratulate the Hon. Madeline Singas on her appointment to the New York State Court of Appeals, and for dedicating her professional life to justice and equity. It is beyond inspiring to see a Greek-American woman rising to the top of our judicial branch of government. I look forward to speaking to my two little girls about this amazing accomplishment by Judge Singas. Μπράβο, και πάντα αξία!”

Leo G. Kailas of Reitler Kailas & Rosenblatt LLP told TNH: “I believe the confirmation of Madeline Singas to the Court of Appeals is a deserved personal accomplishment for Ms. Singas and an overdue recognition of the important contributions of Greek-American lawyers to New York legal practice. Ms. Singas had a distinguished career as a prosecutor and she brings to the bench a deep knowledge of the law and many years of valuable experience. We Greek-Americans are very proud of Ms. Singas! Sinharitiria!”