MINEOLA, NY – Madeline Singas, the Chief Assistant District Attorney (ADA) to Nassau County District Attorney (DA) Kathleen Rice, who left office when she was sworn in to represent New York’s 4th Congressional District this month, was named Acting DA by Governor Andrew Cuomo on January 6.
Singas has declared her candidacy and already won the endorsement of her predecessor for a full term as DA and the media has been paying attention.
“Madeline Singas sees her years in the courtroom as a fitting prelude to becoming Nassau’s acting district attorney, and says no one in the county has her qualifications to serve a full term as top prosecutor,” Long Island Newsday Reported.
“This is all I know. I graduated from law school in 1991 and from that moment forward, I have been representing the people of the state of New York,” Singas said last week in her first newspaper interview since her swearing-in.
“So to do it at this level . . . is so meaningful to me.”
Singas is ready.
“I know the office,” she said.
“Campaign finance reports show the Democrat has collected more than $400,000 since December for her run for office, with support coming from unions — including the AFL-CIO and those representing court officers and electrical workers — and the Greek-American community. She speaks proudly of her late parents’ humble beginnings in the United States after they emigrated from Greece in the late 1950s without being able to speak English. She said they eventually opened Singas Famous Pizza in Elmhurst, Queens — the first of a chain of restaurants. The married mother of 12-year-old twins said her family doesn’t own the business anymore, and she never worked there growing up because her father always told her to study instead. They were progressive despite being uneducated,’ Newsay quoted Singas.
“Gregory Grizopoulos, a former Nassau prosecutor whose wife works in Singas’ office, said he’s not surprised the Greek community would get behind Singas. He said lots of fellow members of the Hellenic Lawyers Association recently attended a Singas fundraiser. ‘She’s well-known because people have had a lot of interactions with her. She’s been in the trenches, trying cases,’” Grizopoulos told Newsay.
Fellow lawyers describe her as tough but fair.
Todd Greenberg, a Forest Hills attorney who heads an association of former and present Queens prosecutors, said “She knows how to try a case, yet will be reasonable.”
For Singas, drunken and drugged driving cases are among her priorities, which include gun and gang violence, crimes against women, children and the elderly, and public corruption.
Brendan Ahern is a former deputy in the district attorney’s District Court bureau. He told Newsday “Singas looked to cut financial waste and find ways to run the office more efficiently as Rice’s deputy.’ She asked tough questions of every single one of us to see how things could be improved,’ he said of young deputies in the office.’”
She has not decided whether she will handle trials personally.
“I love trying cases . . . but we’ll see,” she told Newsday.
Singas calls herself a collaborative decision-maker, noting that has “the same struggles balancing her job and family as other working mothers as she and her husband — Theo Apostolou, who works in sales — raise their daughter and son.
The prosecutor said one of the ways she manages is by making time at 3:30 PM to call her children,” according to Newsday. “Even if I give them five or 10 minutes at that time, for me that’s very important,” she said.
She can’t say what will distinguish her from Rice.
“She’s a redhead…Other than that, I think we’ll wait and see,” she said.