Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of June 17, 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), Patrick J. Griffin (New Haven), Gail P. Hardy (Hartford), Margaret E. Kelley (Ansonia/Milford), Anne F. Mahoney (Windham), Maureen Platt (Waterbury), Stephen J. Sedensky III (Danbury) and David Shepack (Litchfield) and Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Christian Watson (New Britain).

Also present: Executive Assistant State’s Attorneys Brian Austin, Jr., and Amy Bepko, legislative liaison Wilfred Blanchette, Jr., and Communications and Legislative Specialist Mark A. Dupuis.

State’s Attorney Colangelo made a motion to approve the minutes of the May 20, 2019, meeting. State’s Attorney Mahoney seconded the motion and it passed with no opposition.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported the 2019-20 budget adopted by the General Assembly was generally favorable, but the Division is awaiting word on any “holdbacks.” There are currently 71 vacancies, about half of which are for prosecutors. The Division is still attempting to create paralegal/information technology positions for each Judicial District. Chief State’s Attorney Kane said the Criminal Justice Commission hopes to fill prosecutor vacancies in the Danbury and Stamford/Norwalk Judicial Districts by August 1.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane and legislative liaison Wilfred Blanchette reported on the 2019 Regular Session of the General Assembly. Chief State’s Attorney Kane appointed Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Lawlor to chair a committee to study discovery issues and recommend a Division policy. State’s Attorneys Colangelo, Gailor and Griffin volunteered to serve on the committee, which will also include the Appellate Bureau. Chief State’s Attorney Kane thanked Senior Assistant State’s Attorney John P. Doyle, Jr., and the Connecticut Association of Prosecutors for assistance during the legislative session. It was agreed that Attorney Doyle will be invited to address the State’s Attorneys at a future meeting.

Mr. Blanchette reported on Substitute Senate Bill No. 380, which deals with investigations into the use of deadly force by police officers. There was concern over the number of investigations that will occur because of the bill’s provision requiring investigation when the use of deadly force does not result in death and the different circumstances and consequences involved in these cases.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane thanked Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Timothy J. Sugrue of the Appellate Bureau for his assistance during the legislative session, particularly with regard to An Act Concerning Testimony of Jailhouse Witnesses.

Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Austin reported that a survey will be conducted of clerical employees on training. He thanked the State’s Attorneys for their work on local training conducted as part of the Annual Professional Development Conference for Prosecutors. State’s Attorneys are asked to recommend prosecutors to participate in upcoming domestic violence training in Washington, D.C.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto recommended that the revised Ethics Policy and recently adopted Ethical Guidelines for Prosecutors be posted on the Division’s public internet site. There was no opposition; additional policies will be posted as decided by the State’s Attorneys.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Lawlor reported the Division has hired two analysts under the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) grant to examine older sexual assault cases where testing of evidence is now occurring. Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Bepko is working with the analysts, who will contact the State’s Attorneys regarding cases in their various Judicial Districts.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that the new Human Resources director will transfer to the Division from the Department of Correction on June 21, 2019.

It was noted that the General Assembly included salary increases for all legislative staff in the 2019-20 budget but no funds were provided for the Division’s senior management. Chief State’s Attorney Kane will pursue discussions on the issue.

State’s Attorney Kelley raised issues with the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) Forensic Science Laboratory. There was discussion as to what materials should be made available to prosecutors by the lab. The committee appointed to recommend a policy on discovery will examine these issues as well.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that a new process for performance evaluations of prosecutors will be the next issue taken up by the labor/management committee now that the ethics policy and guidelines have been resolved.

There being no further business, State’s Attorney Platt made a motion to adjourn. State’s Attorney Colangelo seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 2:05 p.m.