Nov. 22, 2019 By Kristen Torres
Queens District Attorney-elect Melinda Katz has announced the creation of a 31-person transition team as she prepares to head the borough’s law enforcement office in January.
Katz, who will be the first female Queens District Attorney, has created a team co-chaired by retired Judge Randall Eng and defense attorney Christopher Renfroe, among a slew of other legal, civic and criminal justice experts.
“I am proud and ready to lead a new dawn of justice in Queens,” Katz said in statement Friday. “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 us all.”
With no actual courtroom experience of her own, Katz will rely on her team to help fill out key positions within her new administration.
Retired Judge Jeffrey Lebowitz — who served as a justice of the New York State Supreme Court — and Hugh Mo, a former deputy commissioner with the NYPD, are included in Katz’s roster.
They appear alongside activists Nicole Paultre Bell, whose fiancé’s death by NYPD officers sparked national outrage, and Lisa Schreibersdorf, executive director of Brooklyn Defender Services.
Katz will take office following a contentious Democratic primary against Tiffany Caban— an attorney and newcomer to the Queens political arena. Katz won by a mere 55 votes following a manual recount and a court challenge.
She cruised to victory in the general election over little-known Republican nominee Joe Murray, a former officer with the New York Police Department.
Katz is taking over an office that has been run by the same team of prosecutors for nearly three decades under former DA Richard Brown, who passed away in May. She will be replacing current Acting District Attorney John Ryan.