Nassau County Now Has Its First Black District Attorney

Jun 10, 2021

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.