State court officials have announced Elizabeth Fox-McDonough will serve as Nassau County District Court's new supervising judge, a little more than a year after voters elected her to a seat on the bench.
Fox-McDonough is taking on the role in the Hempstead courthouse her former boss, Nassau Administrative Judge Norman St. George, held before his recent election to a state Supreme Court judgeship.
Judges in district court preside over misdemeanor criminal cases, along with violations of local ordinances, small claims battles and housing disputes.
Fox-McDonough, 56, is a Democrat, a New Hyde Park resident and a graduate of St. John's University, where she earned her law degree and bachelor's degree.
In her supervisory role, she will oversee 26 judges, 30 courtrooms and about 300 employees. Court spokesman Daniel Bagnuola said Friday that under Fox-McDonough's leadership, officials will be developing a new specialty courtroom to address the local opioid epidemic.
Before becoming a district court judge, Fox-McDonough spent about three years as the principal law clerk for St. George. In that role, the attorney was involved in the court's daily operations, researched legal issues for matters pending before the judge and wrote decisions on the law.
As a district court judge, Fox-McDonough's duties have included presiding over criminal arraignments and handling misdemeanor cases that have been pending more than 300 days.
Her prior experience includes working as an assistant district attorney in Queens, as a court attorney for a judge in state Supreme Court in Queens, as a law secretary for a different Queens judge, and as a prosecutor for Nassau's Traffic and Parking Violations Agency.
In a statement Friday, St. George called Fox-McDonough "a judge of great intellect and integrity who treats litigants and lawyers alike with fairness and impartiality."
Fox-McDonough's husband serves in a lieutenant's rank in his job as a court officer. The couple has one daughter.