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Public corruption key issue in Nassau DA's race, Singas says

Acting Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas, seen in

Acting Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas, seen in a file photo, has found fault with the county's contracting process, which Nassau County Attorney Carnell T. Foskey defended in his own report rebutting Singas' claims. Credit: Steve Pfost

Public corruption is a top campaign issue going into the fall's Nassau district attorney race, acting Nassau County District Madeline Singas said in a radio interview Sunday.

Singas told 970/AM radio host John Catsimatidis that a process review unveiled Friday by her office found many problems with how the county's contracts are issued.

The probe was conducted in light of charges against then-state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) alleging he illegally steered a $12 million county contract to a company that hired his son, Adam.

"The people who obtain contracts are not properly vetted," Singas said. "There really is a recipe for corruption in Nassau County unless county government decides to upgrade and fix this broken system."

The Democrat also attacked her Republican opponent in the district attorney's race, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, for her lack of prosecutorial experience, saying Murray "doesn't know her way around" a criminal courtroom.

Singas served under former Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice as chief assistant district attorney and also headed the office's special victims bureau.

She said children's and women's issues, combating gang violence, the heroin epidemic and drunken driving would also be her priorities as district attorney.

She faces Michael Scotto, a former assistant district attorney in the Manhattan district attorney's office, chief of the rackets bureau and deputy chief of the investigation division, in the September Democratic primary.

In November, the winner will face Murray, former state assemblywoman and assistant attorney general in the criminal justice section.

Singas attacked Murray in the radio interview, saying her opponent has "not practiced law in over 15 years, and she has never, ever been a prosecutor."

A spokesman for Murray's campaign declined to comment.

Scotto campaign spokesman Warren Cohn said Sunday that he believes Singas under Rice should have reviewed contracts before federal prosecutors began investigating Skelos.

Scotto has experience prosecuting public corruption cases and as an "independent Democrat" has no ties to the political establishment and as district attorney would be accountable only to Nassau residents, Cohn said.

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