Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of October 21, 2019
Office of the Chief State’s Attorney
Rocky Hill, Connecticut

Chief State’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane called the meeting to order at 12:58 p.m.

Also 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), 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, Executive Secretary Marisa DePhillips and Communications and Legislative Specialist Mark A. Dupuis.

State’s Attorney Colangelo made a motion to approve the minutes of the September 30, 2019, meeting. State’s Attorney Mahoney seconded the motion and it passed on a voice vote.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that the job specification for the proposed paralegal/litigation specialist positions is being finalized. It will be circulated to the State’s Attorneys for comment before submission to the Department of Administrative Services (DAS). The Division will seek additional positions/funding in the 2020 budget, although the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) has asked all agencies to submit information on how a 1 percent reduction in appropriations could be achieved.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported on the Division’s fellowship program for second-year law students to serve internships. The program is directed at the University of Connecticut and Quinnipiac University law schools.

The State’s Attorneys agreed that applicants for Deputy Assistant State’s Attorney positions should be required to submit writing samples as part of the application process. The Human Resources Unit is developing a calendar that will provide State’s Attorneys with direction as to their responsibilities at various points in the hiring process.

Legislative liaison Wilfred Blanchette reported that OPM is requesting input on “clean slate” legislation being drafted for the Governor’s Office. The Judicial Branch is seeking input on victim notification procedures in cases that are nolled. The State’s Attorneys also are asked to provide input on whether the Division should pursue grand jury reform legislation in the 2020 session of the General Assembly.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported on the October 11, 2019, Criminal Justice Commission public forum on the qualities the Commission should seek in appointing the next Chief State’s Attorney. The commission requested a job specification for Chief State’s Attorney and expects to accept applications for 30 days following publication of the advertisement for the post in the Connecticut Law Journal. The commission has been asked to proceed with filling Deputy Assistant State’s Attorney positions in the Appellate Bureau of the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney and in the Hartford and New Haven judicial districts.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Lawlor reported that discussions are continuing on a request from the Rules Committee of the Superior Court regarding discovery procedures in criminal cases. The Division’s working group is awaiting the input to the Rules Committee from other parties.

The Division has responded to the Rules Committee opposing a proposal from the Office of the Victim Advocate to amend the Rules of Professional Conduct (Rule 3.8) to allow the filing of grievances involving prosecutor notification to victims. The proposal would be inappropriate as the prosecutor has no attorney/client relationship with the victim. Discussions will continue on the overall issue of victim notification.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto distributed a draft of the “Deputy Assistant State’s Attorney Professional Development and Mentor Log” for review by the State’s Attorneys. A schedule for the New Deputy Assistant State’s Attorney training program for 2019 was distributed.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported the Management Committee is entering into a consultant contract for training for the State’s Attorneys and Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorneys on management and employee engagement. The University of Connecticut Department of Public Policy is conducting employee surveys to assist in the development of business management plans for the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney and the nine State’s Attorneys who are still developing their plans.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane thanked the State’s Attorneys and staff of the Division for their work and support during his tenure as Chief State’s Attorney. Chief State’s Attorney Kane stressed that the Division of Criminal Justice is composed of both the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney and the State’s Attorneys who share overall responsibility for the Division. He expressed pride in having worked with the State’s Attorneys and DCJ staff as he prepares to retire. There was a round of applause.

There being no further business, State’s Attorney Colangelo moved to adjourn. State’s Attorney hardy seconded the motion and it passed on a voice vote. The meeting adjourned at 2:02 p.m.