Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of May 20, 2019
Office of the Chief State’s Attorney
Rocky Hill, Connecticut

Chief State’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane called the meeting to order at 12:38 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), Brian W. Preleski (New Britain), Michael L. Regan (New London), Stephen J. Sedensky III (Danbury), David Shepack (Litchfield) and John C. Smriga (Fairfield).

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 Sedensky made a motion to approve the minutes of the April 15, 2019, meeting. State’s Attorney Platt seconded the motion and it passed with no opposition.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane introduced Amy Bepko, who was recently appointed as Executive Assistant State’s Attorney.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane introduced Commissioner Vannessa Dorantes of the Department of Children and Families (DCF), DCF Legal Division Director Maureen Duggan and Assistant Legal Division Director Zoe Stout for a discussion of common concerns. Topics included pending legislation and DCF referrals to the Chief State’s Attorney regarding failure to report under the mandated reporter laws.

Division of Criminal Justice Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist Janice duFrend gave a presentation on “Division of Criminal Justice: Selecting the Right Candidate in a Nutshell.” There was discussion of whether to require a writing sample from all candidates for prosecutor positions; no decision was made.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported that the Criminal Justice Commission plans to hold an informational meeting June 6, 2019. Meetings for appointing Deputy Assistant State’s Attorneys have not been scheduled.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported 54 vacancies in the process of being filled, including 34 prosecutors. Another 19 vacant positions are not anticipated to be filled at this time. The 2019-20 budget approved by the General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee includes 486 filled positions.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane and legislative liaison Wilfred Blanchette reported on pending legislation. The State’s Attorneys were asked to give their input on various bills, including draft legislation concerning the use of deadly force by police officers.

State’s Attorney Mahoney reported for the Training Committee. A survey of clerical employees about training is scheduled for June. An earlier survey of prosecutors found support for practical training and as such, a program on direct examination is planned for the fall.

State’s Attorney Colangelo reported for the Management Committee. State’s Attorney Colangelo made a motion to accept the draft of Suggested Topics for Consideration for Self-Assessment by the State’s Attorneys. State’s Attorney Kelley seconded the motion and it passed without opposition. It was suggested the State’s Attorneys complete this self-assessment exercise by August.

State’s Attorney Gailor reported requests from the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Forensic Science Laboratory concerning (1) DNA testing of evidence from property crimes, (2) whether firearms ordered destroyed but not suspected of being involved in a crime should be included in the National Integrated Ballistic Identification Network system and (3) issues related to the “consumption” of evidence submitted from DNA testing. The State’s Attorneys were asked to review the issues.

State’s Attorney Preleski reported for the Operations Committee. A draft Division policy on Pretrial Release, Bail and Revocation of Release was distributed for review and consideration at the July meeting.

There being no further business, State’s Attorney Platt made a motion to adjourn. State’s Attorney Mahoney seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 2:26 p.m.