Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting
Minutes of Meeting of May 18, 2020
The meeting was called to order at 12:32 p.m. by Chief State’s Attorney Richard J. Colangelo, Jr. The meeting was conducted remotely utilizing Zoom software in accordance with directives issued by the Governor because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also present:; Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Kevin D. Lawlor; State’s Attorneys Margaret E. Kelley (Ansonia/Milford), Stephen J. Sedensky III (Danbury), Joseph T. Corradino (Fairfield), Gail P. Hardy (Hartford), Dawn Gallo (Litchfield), Michael A. Gailor (Middlesex), Brian Preleski (New Britain), Patrick J. Griffin (New Haven), Michael L. Regan (New London), Paul J. Ferencek (Stamford/Norwalk), Matthew C. Gedansky (Tolland), Maureen T. Platt (Waterbury) and Anne F. Mahoney (Windham).
Also present: Executive Assistant State’s Attorneys John P. Doyle, Jr., Brett Salafia and Sharmese Walcott, legislative liaison Wilfred Blanchette, Jr., Manager of Planning and Research Ivan Kuzyk and Communications and Legislative Specialist Mark A. Dupuis.
State’s Attorney Sedensky moved to accept the minutes of the April 20, 2020, meeting. State’s Attorney Griffin seconded the motion and it passed with no one in opposition.
Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo reported on the Division’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including tentative plans for resumption of suspended operations and the process for access to courthouses now closed. Additionally:
- The State’s Attorneys are asked to email the Chief State’s Attorney with requests for access to court facilities so arrangements can be made with the Judicial Branch.
- It was suggested that the State’s Attorneys designate separate teams of personnel for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays when operations resume.
- The Judicial Branch will provide personal protective equipment (PPE) in court facilities and is attempting to establish email addresses to allow for transmission of documents to reduce in person activity.
- Specific requests for physical modifications in the State’s Attorney’s offices (installation of plastic shields, etc.) should be submitted to Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo and Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto.
- Requests for masks or other PPE not provided by the Judicial Branch should be sent to Chief Inspector Frederick Haddad.
Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Lawlor reported that the Civil Litigation Bureau has developed a draft stipulated judgment for use in cases where a sentence modification is requested by an individual with a pending petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
It was decided that speedy trial motions should be brought before the Court and argued that they should be dismissed as there are no jurors now available for any trial.
Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo reported the Division has yet to receive any direction from the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) regarding the impact of the pandemic on state revenues and the budget.
Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo introduced Ivan Kuzyk as the new Manager of Research and Planning. The Division expects to conduct interviews soon for the new Training Coordinator position. The new Director of Communications is scheduled to start Friday, May 22, 2020.
Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo reported on assignments for the new Executive Assistant State’s Attorneys: Brett Salafia, Case Management System (CMS) and new subcommittee on diversity and inclusion; Sharmese Walcott, Early Screening and Intervention program (ESI), Freedom of Information (FOI) matters and ethics administration and new subcommittee on community outreach; and John Doyle, implicit bias and racial profiling issues and new subcommittee on employee morale.
The State’s Attorneys, with the exception of newly appointed State’s Attorneys Corradino and Ferencek, are reminded to submit their self-evaluations to the Chief State’s Attorney.
Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo suggested that future meetings include updates from all State’s Attorneys on pending investigations into the use of force by police officers. The State’s Attorneys also should consider establishing expectations for each job classification and may need to revise the job specifications to reflect the expectations.
Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo reported the Division is moving forward with “mapping” 10 years of Judicial Branch data into the Case Management System (CMS). The Division is requesting state funding for virtual private network (VPN) capabilities to provide access to CMS for remote work.
Wilfred Blanchette reported the General Assembly is considering meeting in special session where some concepts may be taken up that were not addressed in the Regular Session because of the pandemic. The State’s Attorneys should forward any suggestions for legislation at this point.
There were no reports from the Management, Operations or Training Committees.
Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo reported the Criminal Justice Commission has not scheduled meetings yet for consideration of the reappointments of the State’s Attorneys whose terms expire this year. No meetings to consider hiring other prosecutors are scheduled as of yet. The Division must take a strategic approach to examining all vacancies because of the economic impact of the pandemic on the state’s budget. State’s Attorneys should not assume that any position now vacant will be filled.
State’s Attorney Kelley reported concerns about police departments taking statements by video from victims who are now out of state when the Connecticut police do not want to travel to the other state. It was suggested that one solution is to ask police in the locality where the victim is to conduct the interview.
Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo again thanked the State’s Attorneys and all Division staff who have contributed to the continued operations of the Division during the pandemic.
There being no further business State’s Attorney Sedensky moved to adjourn. State’s Attorney Platt seconded the motion and it passed with no one in opposition. The meeting adjourned at 1:28 p.m.