DA-Elect Katz Announces Transition Team

From left, U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, District Attorney-Elect Melinda Katz and City Councilman Donovan Richards. Photo by Saul Joseph/Universe Promotions.

Following the historic victory as the first woman elected as the chief law enforcement officer of Queens County, District Attorney-elect Melinda Katz on Friday announced her Transition Committee, a team of experts in law, criminal justice reform, government operations and civic and community leadership.

The Transition Committee is charged with recruiting top talent and shaping the future administration with shared values of justice, equality and fairness.

“I am proud and ready to lead a new dawn of justice in Queens,” said Katz. “I am grateful to the co-chairs and the members of my transition team for their dedication to the people and families of our home borough. Justice has been denied as other counties in our state and across the country were at the forefront of reforming our criminal justice system. We will prove definitively in Queens that you can enhance safety and equality at the same time, in a way that is collaborative and benefits all of us.”

The Honorable Randall Eng, former Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department, will serve as co-chair of the Katz Transition Committee. Justice Eng has had an esteemed legal career in public service, serving as an assistant district attorney in Queens County from 1973-1980. In the ensuing decades, he would serve as the Inspector General of the New York City Correction Department, as a judge on the Criminal Court of the City of New York, as Justice of the New York State Supreme Court, as Administrative Judge of the Criminal Term of Queens County Supreme Court, and most recently as Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division.

As a trailblazer in New York State history, he was the first Asian American to serve as an assistant prosecutor, to become a judge and to serve as Presiding Justice. Justice Eng has also served as President of the Association of Supreme Court Justices of the City of New York and as a member of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics. He is currently a member of the New York State Judicial, Legislative and Executive Salary Commission and the New York State Judicial Institute on Professionalism in the Law. 

Christopher Renfroe, Esq., past President of the Macon B. Allen Black Bar Association, will serve as co-chair of the Katz Transition Committee. He employs over three decades of criminal law experience, including the defense of the first death penalty case tried in Queens County. Mr. Renfroe is also a Court Examiner for the Appellate Division, Second Department with the responsibility of ensuring that the most vulnerable are properly represented by a court-appointed guardian. Mr. Renfroe is a former member of both the Queens County Bar Association Judiciary Panel and of the Federal Judicial Screening Panel formed by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, and a former Commissioner of the City of New York Districting Committee.

Sharon Lee will serve as Executive Director of the Katz Transition Committee on a volunteer basis.

The Hon. Justice Eng and Mr. Renfroe will be joined on Katz’s Transition Committee by some of the most prominent leaders in their respective fields, including (list in formation):

  • Anstiss Agnew – Forestdale, Inc.
  • Amy Arundell – United Federation of Teachers
  • Nicole Paultre Bell – Activist
  • Pascale Bernard, MSW – Planned Parenthood of New York City
  • Dr. John H. Boyd, II – New Greater Bethel Ministries
  • Victoria Brown-Douglas, Esq. – Lawyer’s Guild of the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New Yor
  • Joan B. Brown, Esq.
  • Dr. Tricia Callender, PhD – Sociologist
  • Ray Cameron – NYC Department of Probation
  • David Cohen – 32BJ SEIU
  • Reverend Dr. Phil Craig – Greater Springfield Community Church
  • Sister Tesa Fitzgerald – Hour Children, Inc.
  • Reverend Kirsten John Foy – Arc of Justice
  • Joshua Glick, Esq. – Queens Law Associates
  • Everett Hopkins, Esq. – Macon B. Allen Black Bar Association
  • Lucy Lang, Esq. – Institute for Innovation in Prosecution at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)
  • Jacques M. Leandre, Esq.
  • Hon. Jeffrey Lebowitz – Justice of the New York State Supreme Court (Retired)
  • Jack Leibler, Esq.
  • Nelson A. Madrid, Esq.
  • Jane Manning, Esq. – Women’s Equal Justice Project
  • Hugh H. Mo, Esq. – Former Deputy Commissioner, New York City Police Department
  • Dilip Nath – SUNY Downstate Medical Center
  • Thomas Oliva, Esq. – Latino Lawyers Association of Queens County
  • JoAnne Page, Esq. – The Fortune Society
  • Camille Russell, Esq.
  • Lisa Schreibersdorf, Esq. – Brooklyn Defender Services
  • Matthew Silverstein – America Works of New York, Inc.
  • M. Jane Stanicki – Hour Children, Inc.

The Transition Committee will establish subcommittee working groups that focus on the specific divisions, bureaus and units envisioned for the incoming administration of the Queens District Attorney’s office.

Applications for jobs in the future administration can be submitted at www.katztransition2020.com. All applications will be assured of strict confidentiality.