Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of November 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 12:39 p.m.

Also in attendance were: Deputy Chief State’s Attorneys Kevin D. Lawlor and John J. Russotto; State’s Attorneys Michael A. Gailor (Middlesex), Dawn Gallo (Litchfield), 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 Preleski (New Britain), Michael L. Regan (New London), Stephen J. Sedensky III (Danbury) and John C. Smriga (Fairfield).

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

State’s Attorney Preleski made a motion to approve the minutes of the October 21, 2019, meeting. State’s Attorney Gailor seconded the motion and it passed on a voice vote.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane introduced Data Analyst Intern Rachel Dzialo for a presentation on the results of the survey of Division employees conducted by the University of Connecticut Department of Public Policy in conjunction with the development of business plans for the State’s Attorneys and the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney. The nine State’s Attorneys who are still developing their plans will receive the results for their Judicial Districts.

State’s Attorney Preleski reported that the plan is helpful to periodically refocus on long term goals. The State’s Attorneys still working on their plans are asked to have them completed for review at the February meeting.

State’s Attorney Mahoney introduced Danielle Lindgren from the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Division of Scientific Services and Division employees Kathleen Miller and James Grasso for a presentation on the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI). The State’s Attorneys received information on Investigative Status Inquiries pending for their districts.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that he, Chief State’s Attorney Kane and Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Lawlor were scheduled to meet later in the day with representatives of the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) and the Governor’s Office to discuss legislative priorities for the 2020 Regular Session of the General Assembly.

State’s Attorney Preleski presented proposed revisions to Division Policy 509, “Guidelines for Investigation of the Use of Deadly Force Pursuant to General Statutes Section 51-277a.” State’s Attorney Platt made a motion to accept the revised policy. State’s Attorney Kelley seconded the motion and it passed on a voice vote. State’s Attorney Richard J. Colangelo, Jr., (Stamford/Norwalk), who was not present for the meeting, had asked to be recorded in favor of the policy. Chief State’s Attorney Kane will reference the revised policy in a report to the Criminal Justice Commission. A checklist to assist the State’s Attorneys in the course of investigations into the use of force by police officers was distributed. It was noted that Communications and Information Technology employees in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney must have sufficient advance notice to properly prepare and distribute all reports and associated audio and video exhibits related to use of force investigations. State’s Attorney Preleski reported that a working group has been established to review procedures for the investigation of use-of-force incidents involving State Troopers.

State’s Attorney Gailor reported on ongoing efforts for implementation of Public Act 19-59, particularly with regard to data collection by the Division before the case management system is fully operational. The State’s Attorneys were asked to utilize a tracking sheet for all offenses beginning January 1, 2020, unless otherwise advised. Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Lawlor recommended the Division examine other what other data it should collect for internal purposes and to improve our operations.

Printouts of a PowerPoint presentation on “Preliminary notes on OPM’s contributions towards the realization of SB 880” prepared by OPM were distributed. OPM representatives will be invited to the December meeting where representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut will attend to discuss P.A. 19-59.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that schedules were distributed for the upcoming training for Deputy Assistant State’s Attorneys and Special Deputy Assistant State’s Attorneys. All of the sessions will be recorded and posted on the Division’s Intranet site to allow for viewing by other employees. The State’s Attorneys are asked to assure that all newer prosecutors complete the Deputy Assistant State’s Attorney Professional Development and Mentor Log.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Lawlor reported that the Rules Committee of the Superior Court is continuing its consideration of requested rules changes concerning discovery in criminal cases, victim notification and the presence of cameras in the courtroom in certain cases. No decisions have been made.

State’s Attorney Preleski proposed, and the State’s Attorneys agreed, to having the Operations Committee review questions concerning search and seizure warrants for electronic devices, including working with the Connecticut State Police to draft possible templates.

Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Austin distributed updated data on compliance with training requirements for all prosecutors. Individual prosecutors will be notified in December if they have not met training requirements for the year.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that the “use it or lose it” policy no longer applies to compensatory time off. The Division expects further action in this area due to the costs associated with overtime or accumulated time for which the employee will be paid.

There being no further business, State’s Attorney Mahoney moved to adjourn the meeting. State’s Attorney Gallo seconded the motion and it passed on a voice vote. The meeting adjourned at 2:27 p.m.