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Nassau County Now Has Its First Black District Attorney

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Courtesy of District Attorney of Nassau County
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Joyce Smith was sworn in as Nassau County’s Acting District Attorney Wednesday. She is the county’s first Black DA.

Smith was appointed by the previous district attorney, Madeline Singas, who was just confirmed as a judge to New York’s top court. District attorneys are usually elected by voters, so Smith will have to be elected in a special election. That is, unless Governor Andrew Cuomo appoints Smith or someone else.

She was a former Assistant District Attorney in Queens before joining Nassau in 2018. She’s worked in community relations, immigrant affairs, as well as a post at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

There are very few Black district attorneys in the U.S. According to one 2019 study, only 5% of elected DAs were Black.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.