Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of February 23, 2021

The meeting was called to order at 12:31 p.m. by Chief State’s Attorney Richard J. Colangelo, Jr. The meeting was conducted remotely utilizing Zoom software in accordance with directives issued by the Governor because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also present: Deputy Chief State’s Attorney for Operations Kevin D. Lawlor; State’s Attorneys Margaret E. Kelley (Ansonia/Milford), Maureen Platt (Waterbury), Stephen J. Sedensky III (Danbury), Paul J. Narducci (New London), Joseph T. Corradino (Fairfield), Sharmese L. Walcott (Hartford), Dawn Gallo (Litchfield), Brian W. Preleski (New Britain), Michael A. Gailor (Middlesex), Patrick J. Griffin (New Haven), Paul J. Ferencek (Stamford/Norwalk), Matthew C. Gedansky (Tolland), and Anne F. Mahoney (Windham).

Also present: Executive Assistant State’s Attorneys John P. Doyle, Jr., Gail P. Hardy and Brett Salafia, Legislative Liaison Melanie Dykas and Director of Communications Alaine Griffin.

State’s Attorney Gailor moved to accept the minutes of the January 25, 2021 meeting. State’s Attorney Griffin seconded the motion and it passed with no one in opposition.

Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo reported on the Division’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including updates on the Judicial Branch’s installation of technology in the prisons for remote court hearings, the Governor’s vaccination distribution plan and the resumption of jury trials in light of jury selection being on hiatus until April. He said there have been discussions about the possibility of maintaining the practice of holding some court hearings virtually after the pandemic and asked State’s Attorneys to submit their ideas about this going forward.

Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo reported that Family Services officials are contacting State’s Attorneys regarding the resolution of case backlogs caused by the pandemic. Some State’s Attorneys reported that they already met with Family Services and are moving forward with plans on resolving cases.

In regard to budget matters, Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo said the Division’s budget hearing before the Joint Committee on Appropriations would be held on February 26, 2021 and subcommittee hearings would be held later. He said the Division is getting funding for positions in the Conviction Integrity Unit, paralegals and training. Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo said the Division is requesting more money for training and Early Screening and Intervention coordinators for each jurisdiction. He said union negotiations have not yet begun and he asked the State’s Attorneys to submit suggestions regarding positions.

Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo said at the February 11, 2021 Criminal Justice Commission meeting, the Commission selected a Deputy Assistant State’s Attorney/Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney.

Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo and Legislative Liaison Dykas provided updates on legislation pending before the 2021 session of the General Assembly, including the legalization of recreational cannabis and the possibility of changing the state’s laws regarding hate crimes. Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo also reported that he testified before the Judiciary Committee on February 22, 2021 regarding the recently passed police accountability legislation, particularly the issues surrounding the constitutional issues in regard to the Inspector General position stemming from the original bill that legislators passed over the summer.

State’s Attorney Griffin said the Training Committee met recently and discussed updates to the prosecutor training curriculum. State’s Attorney Preleski reported that the Management and Operations Committee will meet soon. State’s Attorney Gallo said the Operations Committee met and discussed updating Division policies and revisions to statutes regarding bail.

Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Salafia reported that work is being done at the warehouse regarding old files that will either be filed or shredded.

Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Hardy said on behalf of the state’s prison and jail overcrowding subcommittee, she is seeking information from the State’s Attorneys regarding ways they are helping to reduce the prison population. She said she is also assisting with the preparation of various grants the Division is seeking.

Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Doyle provided updates on lab information, the Early Screening and Intervention grant funding, and the number of employees who recently completed the COLLECT System Security Awareness Training.

There being no further business, State’s Attorney Walcott made a motion to adjourn. State’s Attorney Sedensky seconded the motion and it passed without opposition. The meeting was adjourned at 1:56 p.m.