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Division of Criminal Justice Holds Statewide Training Seminar on Ethics, Prosecutorial Impropriety, and Disclosure Obligations


(Rocky Hill, CT) - The Division of Criminal Justice on September 22 held a virtual training for all prosecutors and staff that included presentations on ethics, prosecutorial impropriety, and the prosecution’s disclosure obligations in criminal cases. The training was headlined by Peter J. Lewandowski, the Executive Director of the Office of State Ethics, who presented “Why Ethics Matter – Knowing the Limits,” a training that focuses on the state code of ethics that guides public officials and state employees in the performance of their duties and informs what they should do in challenging situations.

The training is part of a new training initiative implemented by Chief State’s Attorney Patrick J. Griffin and the thirteen State’s Attorneys that places particular emphasis on prosecutorial ethics.

“In July, I appointed Lisa M. D’Angelo, Executive Assistant State’s Attorney, to serve as the Division’s Director of the newly formed Office of Ethics and Professional Standards," Chief State's Attorney Griffin said. "In the position, Executive Assistant State’s Attorney D’Angelo serves as the Division’s counsel in all matters and questions related to ethical conduct and professional standards, in addition to directing the development of updated written ethical and professional standards for the Division. The implementation of a comprehensive program of in-service staff development and training for prosecutors, inspectors, and other Division staff, such as the presentation featuring Executive Director Lewandowski, is a key component of our training initiative.” 

In addition to the presentation by the Office of State Ethics, the training featured Acting Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Timothy J. Sugrue of the Division’s Appellate Bureau, who discussed the avoidance of prosecutorial impropriety during criminal trials, focusing particularly on proper closing arguments. Attorneys Sugrue and D’Angelo, along with Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Kathryn W. Bare, also held a session on the implications the Supreme Court cases Brady v. Maryland and Giglio v. United States have on law enforcement. The Division recently updated and revised its Brady/Giglio policy relating to prosecutorial disclosure obligations. Pursuant to this line of cases, the state must disclose to criminal defendants any evidence known to the prosecution team that is favorable to the defense, including evidence that affects the credibility of those who may testify on behalf of the state in any criminal proceeding.

Earlier this month, the Division hosted the annual 2022 John M. Bailey Seminar for nearly 700 law enforcement officials, a comprehensive look at case law and legislative updates that included such topics as witness protection, cell phone extractions, internet crimes against children and a review of new provisions in Connecticut’s “Red Flag” law.