Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting
Minutes of the Meeting of February 25, 2019
Office of the Chief State’s Attorney
Rocky Hill, Connecticut
Chief State’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane called the meeting to order at 12:43 p.m.
In attendance were: Deputy Chief State’s Attorneys Kevin D. Lawlor and John J. Russotto; State’s Attorneys Richard J. Colangelo, Jr. (Stamford/Norwalk), Michael A. Gailor (Middlesex), Matthew C. Gedansky (Tolland), Margaret E. Kelley (Ansonia/Milford), Gail P. Hardy (Hartford), Anne F. Mahoney (Windham), Maureen Platt (Waterbury), Brian W. Preleski (New Britain), Stephen J. Sedensky III (Danbury), David Shepack (Litchfield) and John C. Smriga (Fairfield); and Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Pepper (New Haven).
Also present: Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Brian Austin, Jr., legislative liaison Wilfred Blanchette, Jr., and Communications and Legislative Specialist Mark A. Dupuis.
State’s Attorney Colangelo made a motion to accept the minutes of the January 14, 2019, meeting. State’s Attorney Sedensky seconded the motion and it passed with no opposition.
Chief State’s Attorney Kane introduced guests Dr. Guy M. Vallaro, Ph.D., Director of the Division of Scientific Services, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP), Kristin Sasinouski, Deputy Director of Forensic Biology and DNA Forensic Biology/DNA Section, and Cynthia Isales, DESPP Director of Legal Services, for updates and questions concerning the Forensic Science Laboratory.
A new process for screening of sexual assault kits is expected to be in place by June 1 and a backlog in processing kits is being resolved. The laboratory also is utilizing a new procedure for DNA analysis that will provide increased capacity and efficiency. The State’s Attorneys will contact police departments soliciting information on sexual assault cases that are either (1) unsolved and where forensic evidence has not been tested; (2) where there is a Combined DNA Index (CODIS) entry but no “hit,” or (3) involving serial sex offenders. A backlot of six to seven months in processing of DNA evidence will be addressed by utilizing private contractors for analysis, but only for cases involving property crimes.
State’s Attorney Gailor will draft a policy/protocol that when the laboratory notifies the Division of a “hit” for other than the convicted individual the Division will notify the last counsel of record, and, if not available, the defendant with notification that he/she should consult his/her attorney.
Attorney Isales reported that DESPP will be utilizing email to meet the statutory requirement of written notice to the State’s Attorney when DESPP receives a Freedom of Information (FOI) request where the State’s Attorney may object to disclosure.
State’s Attorney Preleski presented the final draft of the Conviction Integrity Review Protocol. State’s Attorney Colangelo made a motion to adopt the protocol. State’s Attorney Sedensky seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.
State’s Attorney Preleski suggested the protocol be forwarded to the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and the Division of Public Defender Services. The protocol also will be posted on the Division website.
Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Lawlor distributed a memorandum by Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Miller of the Appellate Bureau concerning federal civil detainer requests. Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Lawlor and Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Austin will distribute a training letter to all prosecutors with instructions to discuss detainer concerns with the State’s Attorney and/or Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney.
Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported on the continued demand placed on the Division’s information technology storage resources by police body camera recordings. The continued increase in body camera recordings and access to them is straining IT storage and access systems. The State’s Attorneys are asked to keep IT personnel apprised when police departments initiate use of body cameras.
State’s Attorney Sedensky reported on the “desk top” incident response training exercise offered by the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut. State’s Attorney Hardy agreed to host a future session where other State’s Attorneys could observe the exercise.
Assistant State’s Attorneys Miller and Matthew Weiner of the Appellate Bureau distributed applications received for the summer internship program to the State’s Attorneys. The State’s Attorneys should notify the Chief State’s Attorney’s office of interns recruited locally so they can receive orientation and background checks.
Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that the new Equal Opportunity Employment Specialist is scheduled to join the Division Friday.
Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported the Governor’s Recommended Budget was generally favorable. The Division will present its recommendations to the Appropriations Committee.
Chief State’s Attorney Kane and legislative liaison Wilfred Blanchette reported on the General Assembly session.
Chief State’s Attorney Kane distributed the agenda for a special informational meeting of the Criminal Justice Commission scheduled for March 5, 2019, at the Legislative Office Building and invited the State’s Attorneys to attend.
Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto distributed the revised Ethics Policy and the proposed Ethical Guidelines for Prosecutors. State’s Attorney Colangelo made a motion to adopt the Ethics Policy. State’s Attorney Sedensky seconded the motion and it passed without opposition. State’s Attorney Colangelo made a motion to adopt the Ethical Guidelines for Prosecutors. State’s Attorney Kelley seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.
State’s Attorney Colangelo reported on behalf of the Management Committee. The State’s Attorneys should submit information on their community involvement and other activities to be reported in news releases.
There being no further business, Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Lawlor made a motion to adjourn. State’s Attorney Colangelo seconded the motion and the meeting adjourned at 3:08 p.m.