Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of January 25, 2021

The meeting was called to order at 12:41 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 for Operations Kevin D. Lawlor; Deputy Chief State’s Attorney for Personnel, Finance and Administration John J. Russotto, State’s Attorneys Margaret E. Kelley (Ansonia/Milford), Maureen Platt (Waterbury), Stephen J. Sedensky III (Danbury), Joseph T. Corradino (Fairfield), Sharmese L. Walcott (Hartford), Dawn Gallo (Litchfield), Brian W. Preleski (New Britain), Michael A. Gailor (Middlesex), Patrick J. Griffin (New Haven), Paul J. Ferencek (Stamford/Norwalk), Matthew C. Gedansky (Tolland), and Anne F. Mahoney (Windham).

Also present: Executive Assistant State’s Attorneys John P. Doyle, Jr., Gail P. Hardy and Brett Salafia, Training Program Coordinator Vasi Gournaris, Manager of Research and Planning Ivan Kuzyk, Legislative Liaison Melanie Dykas and Director of Communications Alaine Griffin.

State’s Attorney Sedensky moved to accept the minutes of the December 21, 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 the distribution of vaccines and efforts to resolve the backlog of family relations cases. The State’s Attorneys discussed the enforcement of COVID-19 violations.

Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo and the State’s Attorneys discussed having policies and issuing guidance on redactions by police of body-worn camera videos used in police investigations as more police departments start to use the technology.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that the Governor’s Recommended Budget would be submitted to the General Assembly in February.

Legislative Liaison Dykas and State’s Attorneys discussed language changes to legislative proposals for the 2021 Session of the General Assembly. Legislative Liaison Dykas discussed giving a presentation to State’s Attorneys about how the legislative process works.

State’s Attorney Walcott reported that members of the state’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Council met to discuss proposed language changes to statutes that provide post-conviction relief to human trafficking survivors, allowing them to seek court orders vacating the criminal convictions that were entered against them as a result of being trafficked.

Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo reminded the State’s Attorneys to complete COLLECT System Security Awareness Training. He said an official from the Yale School of Medicine recently made a training presentation to the Appellate Bureau via Zoom and that domestic violence virtual training would soon be taking place.

State’s Attorney Preleski discussed drafts of two policies discussed recently by the Management Committee, including a policy on peer review and evaluations of the Division’s senior leadership team. He said the evaluations and reviews are designed to be a cooperative and collaborative process aimed at providing regular, evidence-based feedback to its senior leaders with the goal of enhancing and improving performance and ensuring that the Division is effectively discharging its constitutional and statutory duties.

A second policy, State’s Attorney Preleski said, is aimed at conducting ongoing development, review and publication of policies in all areas of administration and operations. The goal of the policy is to achieve maximum fairness, effectiveness, transparency and efficiency in the execution of the Division’s constitutional and statutory mandate to exercise the criminal powers of the State.

Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo said he is presently assembling a conviction integrity panel for a New Haven case in need of review and he said the Judicial Branch is working on creating block scheduling for hearing criminal cases in court.

In regard to the new Case Management System, there was discussion about noting the race of crime victims. Manager of Research and Planning Ivan Kuzyk said he supported the idea because it would help explain to the public the disparities that exist through the system. He said the more data the Division puts into the system, the better the Division can explain the work they do in the communities they serve.

There being no further business State’s Attorney Sedensky moved to adjourn. State’s Attorney Kelley seconded the motion and it passed with no one in opposition. The meeting adjourned at 2:43 p.m.