The voters of Nassau County have the opportunity to install a top-flight career prosecutor to lead one of New York’s largest district attorney offices.
Madeline Singas fits the bill perfectly, and she gets the Daily News’ enthusiastic endorsement.
Singas has a distinguished 24-year record as a lawyer and law enforcement professional.
Prosecuting all manner of offenders, she rose through the ranks of the Queens DA’s office before being recruited in 2006 to lead a newly created Special Victims Bureau in Nassau.
Her victories included a rare first-degree murder conviction, along with a sentence of life without parole, in the case of a man who had tortured and killed his girlfriend. In 2011, Singas stepped up to serve as chief assistant to then-DA Kathleen Rice, and she took interim command of the 150-lawyer office last January, following Rice’s election to Congress.
Her tenure was marked by the federal indictment of former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, a Nassau Republican, on extortion charges that involved a contract awarded by Nassau County. After studying the county’s contracting system, Singas called it a “recipe for corruption,” forcing County Executive Edward Mangano to make reforms.
Singas’ years of service have well prepared her to take full charge. She is widely respected among top New York prosecutors and would mesh seamlessly with federal counterparts who are investigating the Nassau political establishment.
A Democrat, Singas has never before run for office. She says she felt compelled to run after Republicans tapped a wholly unqualified candidate in Hempstead Presiding Supervisor Kate Murray.
Her judgment about Murray is spot on.
Murray has a legal résumé that would barely qualify for a slot as an entry-level assistant DA. Worse, she knows next to nothing about criminal law, court procedure or pressing justice issues, as proven by her preposterous display of ignorance in speaking with the Daily News Editorial Board.
Whether the issue was bail, grand jury immunity, prosecution of drunken drivers or investigation of police shootings of unarmed civilians, Murray was clueless about the law. Heck, she seemed not even to have scanned the newspapers. Most revealingly, she admitted she had not read the charges lodged against GOP ally Skelos.
This call is not close. Whatever their political affiliation, Nassau voters should unite behind Singas, confident that she would do a good job and prevent the complete political debasement of their district attorney’s office.