NEW YORK – Greek-American Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas was nominated by Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve as Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state.
Two prominent Greek-Americans, Fr. Alexander Karloutsos and businessman Dennis Mehiel sent an open letter to the governor to promote Singas’ candidacy.
"The Greek-American community takes great pride in DA Singas’ three decades of public service, her leadership as District Attorney, and her many accomplishments," the letter reads, noting that "DA Singas is an experienced and talented attorney with the skill and temperament to be an excellent judge."
This letter was published in a full-page ad in The National Herald, in both its Greek and English editions.
"We want everyone to know that the Greek-American community supports Madeline Singas and to inform the governor. We are very proud of the role played by The National Herald, announcing the full support of the Greek community," Fr. Karloutsos told TNH. "First of all, this move is the practical recognition for an exceptional woman, who is a first generation Greek-American. She is the daughter of a man who had a successful pizzeria, but he and his wife made sure that both Madeleine and her sister received a high level of academic education. They reflect the best image of our Community, as well as diversity: A woman, the daughter of an immigrant, climbs to the top of the New York State judiciary. This is the first time a Greek-American has this honor. I also want to emphasize that the Greek Diaspora should be grateful to Andrew Cuomo, a philhellene and a very good leader. Without him, after all, we would not have St. Nicholas [at the World Trade Center]."
According to Fr. Karloutsos, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, the Greek-American businessmen George Tsunis, Peter Pappas, and John Catsimatidis, as well as the three Greek-Americans in the State Senate, Michael Gianaris, Andrew Gounardes, and James Skoufis, also sent a letter of support to Cuomo.
Dennis Mehiel also spoke with TNH about Singas’ prospects.
"I wholeheartedly supported DA Singas, given her rare and unique qualifications, her experience, her long history of pursuing equality in the criminal justice system and, of course, our pride in becoming one of the most prominent Greek women in the top Judiciary of the State. I believe it should be voted on by the State Senate in a few weeks."
For her part, speaking to TNH, Singas wanted to keep a low profile, noting that she is waiting for the confirmation process.
"I am honored to be nominated by the governor to serve in the highest court in New York and I look forward to the confirmation process," she said.
The role of the State Senate
In addition to Governor Cuomo, who took the first step, the letter was also addressed to State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and the minority leader Sen. Robert G. Ortt in order to inform them of Singas’ qualifications and experience, as well as the support of the community for her.
Greek-American Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris expressed his optimism that Singas’ candidacy will be approved by the Senate, emphasizing that he will urge his colleagues to support her.
"I have known Madeline since we were children in Astoria. I believe that she has the experience she needs and will make us proud as Greeks. We have never had a Greek-American in this position, which is, in essence, the highest court in New York. We have not yet considered the candidacy with all the senators, this will happen next week. Nevertheless, I wish and believe that she will have enough support," noted Sen. Gianaris.
Sen. Andrew Gounardes moved in the same direction, expressing his support for Madeline Singas, but also his confidence in her potential.
"I have great faith in her unwavering commitment to enforcing the principles of our law and to protect the rights of all New Yorkers. As a Greek-American, I am very proud of everything she has accomplished in her career and I am sure that she will be a great addition to the highest court in New York," said Sen. Gounardes, while Sen. James Skoufis was equally optimistic.
"Madeline and I know each other through our common ancestry and I am sure that the Greek-American community as a whole will appreciate the fact that soon we will have the first Greek-American in the New York Court of Appeals. I applaud her candidacy and look forward to supporting her in the State Senate Judiciary Committee," said Sen. Skoufis.
Fr. Karloutsos called on the Greek community, depending on the district where they vote to contact their state senators themselves and urge them to support Singas.
"Here is our Thermopylae and we must be strong to make our dreams come true. Madeline deserves our support," said Fr. Karloutsos.