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Nassau GOP names Anne Donnelly to be DA candidate

Nassau County Assistant District Attorney Anne Donnelly talks

Nassau County Assistant District Attorney Anne Donnelly talks at John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore on Oct. 5, 2010. Credit: Kevin P Coughlin

Nassau Republicans on Monday night selected Anne Donnelly, a 32-year career prosecutor, as their party's candidate in the November election for the county district attorney.

Donnelly, 56, of Garden City has spent her entire career working in the Nassau DA's office and holds the title of deputy chief of the Organized Crime & Rackets Bureau.

"My entire career has been about finding justice for the victims of crime and to make sure that people who are arrest are treated fairly and justly," Donnelly said in an interview with Newsday.

Donnelly will face off against state Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach), who received the nod from Democrats late last month. Kaminsky, a former federal prosecutor, has been dean of Long Island’s Democratic Senate delegation since 2018, when Democrats won a majority in the chamber.

The two candidates will campaign for former Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas's seat midway through her second term. The State Senate confirmed Singas to the state Court of Appeals on June 8.

Nassau GOP Chairman Joseph G. Cairo, Jr., said Donnelly was a clear choice because she's "a candidate who has dedicated her career to keeping the public safe and putting dangerous criminals behind bars."

Cairo said Kaminsky "is a political opportunist who has spent his time in Albany writing ‘get out of jail free’ laws to turn loose more dangerous inmates onto our streets."

In response. Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs said in a statement, "The Nassau Republican Machine, which probably holds a record for the most indicted, convicted and corrupt politicians in America, has finally nominated their candidate for District Attorney to fight corruption. The old adage "you don’t bite the hand that feeds you" should come to the minds of every Nassau voter when deciding who they would like to protect their taxpayer dollars and keep our county safe from corruption."

Donnelly began working under former DA Denis Dillon soon after earning her law degree in 1989 from Fordham University School of Law.

Her career has included more than a dozen years of prosecuting violent felonies.

Donnelly successfully pursued a criminal case involving the sale and distribution of counterfeit electronics, resulting in the largest asset forfeiture in the history of the county. She also worked with federal prosecutors to convict a "porn doctor" who filmed and forcibly touched patients, Republicans said.

Among her most-high profile cases was the murder trial of Susan Williams, a Garden City mother of four convicted of trying to hire a hit man to kill her estranged husband.

Additionally, she helped develop S.T.O.P THEN SEND, a cyberbullying and Internet safety program in the Nassau schools. She is also in charge of overseeing the prosecution of all computer crimes and is liaison to the Nassau County Correctional Center.

Donnelly is married with three adult children. A native of Franklin Square, she said she returned to Nassau to "take care of the poeple I grew up with."

She said she would be an advocate for changing many of the elements of the state's new bail reform laws, particularly changes to the how prosecutors and defense attorneys treat evidence and discovery, which she called "a burden" that "puts people in danger."

"Unlike my opponent, I don't have higher political ambitions," Donnelly said. "This is all I have ever done and all I ever wanted to do."

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