Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz sworn in for second term

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz (right) was sworn in for a second term Tuesday by Supreme Court Administrative Judge Donna-Marie Golia (left), as Katz’s youngest son, Hunter (center), held the Old Testament.
Photo courtesy of the DA’s office

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz was sworn in for a second term Tuesday in the Helen Marshall Cultural Center at Queens Borough Hall.

The ceremony was attended by 200 staff and justices, and her youngest son, Hunter, held the copy of the Old Testament used for the swearing in. She was sworn in by Supreme Court Administrative Judge Donna-Marie Golia.

Katz made history when she first took office four years ago becoming the first woman ever to serve as head prosecutor in Queens and the first new Queens District Attorney in 28 years, following the death of Richard Brown.

Katz says she has modernized the office and expanded its mission statement, noting the new bureaus and units she created, including the Conviction Integrity Unit, Human Trafficking Bureau, Cold Case Unit, Frauds Bureau and Housing and Worker Protection Bureau, among others.

“Of all the outstanding work and accomplishments over the past four years, perhaps I’m most proud of our efforts in tackling violent crime,” Katz said. “The time, energy and resources we have poured into the fight has produced impressive results: Whereas shootings declined 24% in the city, in Queens they are down 33%; and murders, down 11% citywide, have declined by 39% in Queens.”

Born and raised in Queens, Katz lives in Forest Hills with her two sons. She was educated in the city’s public school system and went on to graduate with honors at the University of Massachusetts and received a Juris Doctorate from St. John’s University School of Law. Her long record of public service began with her 1994 election to the state Assembly. She was later elected to the City Council from 2002 to 2009, before spending time in private practice.

In private practice, Katz worked as a securities litigator for Weil, Gotshal & Manges and as a shareholder of Greenberg Traurig, a position she held until her 2013 election as the 19th Borough President of Queens. She stepped down to run for Queens District Attorney in 2019, defeating democratic socialist public defender Tiffany Cabán by just 60 votes in the Democratic primary before winning the general election in November. Last year she won re-election to her second term defeating two challengers with nearly 67% of the vote.

In a year-end message to supporters, Katz said her office had processed more than 44,000 arrests in 2023 including one of the largest gang takedowns in the history of the office, a 151-count indictment brought against 33 alleged gang members, five of whom were charged with murder. The indictment was the culmination of a nearly three-year investigation into gun and gang violence in and around the Baisley Park Houses and nearby communities.

“There is always more to be done, but I am proud of the results my office has achieved in the fight to protect our neighborhoods,” Katz said after she was sworn in for her second term.