Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of June 21, 2021

The meeting was called to order at 12:33 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), 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), 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 Kelley moved to accept the minutes of the May 17, 2021 meeting. State’s Attorney Griffin seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo reported on the Division’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including such topics as socially distanced courtroom layouts and jury selection in light of the recent resumption of jury trials.

Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo reported the budget adopted recently by the General Assembly was generally favorable to the Division and included additional training funds, the most amount the Division has ever received for training. Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo said there are upcoming discussions about how the funds will be spent. He asked the State’s Attorneys to help promote upcoming wellness seminars.

Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo said members of the Division would be meeting with law enforcement to discuss the recently passed marijuana legalization legislation and training that is needed to properly address the new law. The State's Attorneys discussed clarifying certain issues the new law raises, including probable cause for arrest when a police officer encounters a motorist who may be under the influence, and putting together talking points for State’s Attorneys to use when asked about the law by the public and media.

In regard to committee reports, State’s Attorney Gallo said sentence modifications and eProsecutor guidelines were discussed recently by the Operations Committee, as well as the need for a posted policy regarding photography and videotaping in areas in and around the courthouses. State’s Attorney Preleski said more information would be available next month regarding recent discussions by the Management Committee about the use of social media and ideas on how to improve Division morale. Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Doyle said results from a survey about Division morale were recently compiled into a condensed report that was distributed to the State’s Attorneys who agreed that the report should now be sent to all Division employees.

Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo discussed when State’s Attorneys would resume handling infractions that occurred after March 19, 2020. Due to the pandemic, those cases were centralized at the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney.

Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo said representatives from each Judicial District would be attending a meeting about hate crimes at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Haven on June 25.

There being no further business, State’s Attorney Preleski moved to adjourn. State’s Attorney Ferencek seconded the motion and it passed with no one in opposition. The meeting adjourned at 1:23 p.m.