Monica Hickey-Martin, left, newly appointed Chief Assistant District Attorney in...

Monica Hickey-Martin, left, newly appointed Chief Assistant District Attorney in Nassau County DA's office and incoming Nassau DA Anne Donnelly, right. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

Nassau District Attorney Anne Donnelly has named five veteran prosecutors and a former Nassau homicide squad commander to her leadership team as she begins work as the county's top law enforcement officer.

Donnelly, whose ceremonial swearing-in will be Wednesday, told Newsday that the team members are excited to get started.

"They are ready to take on the challenges we face and I know that they will be great at it," she added Tuesday after stopping by the office of new Chief Assistant District Attorney Monica Hickey-Martin.

Donnelly said the two first met at Fordham University School of Law and have a great way of communicating that she believes will be a formula for success.

Hickey-Martin, 56, comes to her new post after working in the MTA Inspector General's Office as assistant deputy inspector general for legal and investigations. In that role, the Nassau resident was part of the probe that led to last year's indictment of five Long Island Rail Road workers in an overtime fraud scheme.

Hickey-Martin began her career as a Suffolk prosecutor and later served as a Nassau prosecutor. Her experience also includes working in the Office of the Attorney General for the U.S. territory of Guam and in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the state Attorney General's Office.

Donnelly hired Dennis Farrell as chief investigator. Farrell, 73, retired in 2006 as the detective lieutenant in charge of the Nassau County Police Department's Homicide Squad after nearly four decades of investigating murders, solving heists and probing fatal car crashes.

"He lived and breathed the Homicide Squad," a sergeant under Farrell's command told Newsday when Farrell retired from NCPD. "I didn't think he could walk away from this."

The Nassau resident, who also previously commanded NCPD's Special Victims Squad and Cold Case Squad, later worked in private security consulting and was commissioner of the Muttontown Police Department.

Donnelly tapped veteran prosecutor Kevin Higgins, 57, as executive district attorney in charge of litigation. The Nassau resident previously was deputy bureau chief of the Criminal Court Bureau for the Queens District Attorney's Office. The St. John's University School of Law graduate started his career as a Nassau prosecutor. His three decades of experience has included trial work along with wiretap investigations and long-term probes involving gangs, drugs and public corruption, according to Donnelly's office.

Brian Lee, who became a Nassau prosecutor in 2008, is the executive assistant district attorney in charge of administration. The 51-year-old Pace Law School graduate started as a Queens prosecutor, handling cases that included homicides, sex crimes and drug offenses. He also has argued more than a dozen cases in appellate courts, his employer said.

Martin Meaney, who retired from the Nassau District Attorney's Office at the end of 2020 after a 32-year career, has returned as counsel to Donnelly. Meaney, 58, has prosecuted scores of major crimes and was part of a 2020 murder trial heralded as New York's first hybrid criminal trial, with witnesses testifying live and through Skype amid the pandemic.

Rick Whelan, who was Donnelly's supervisor as Rackets and Enterprise Crime Bureau chief, is the executive assistant district attorney for the Investigations Division. The Quinnipiac School of Law graduate has been a New York prosecutor for 33 years, specializing in leading long-term investigations. Whelan, 60, also has served as a special assistant U.S. attorney in New York federal courts and as a deputy attorney general for New York's statewide Organized Crime Task Force.

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