Minutes of the Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting
January 25, 2010
The meeting was called to order at the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney in Rocky Hill at 12:45 p.m. by Chief State ’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane.
In attendance were Chief State’s Attorney Kane, Deputy Chief State’s Attorneys Leonard C. Boyle (Operations) and John J. Russotto (Personnel, Finance and Administration) and State’s Attorneys John C. Smriga (Fairfield), David Shepack (Litchfield), Scott J. Murphy (New Britain), Patricia M. Froehlich (Windham), David I. Cohen (Stamford-Norwalk), Matthew C. Gedansky (Tolland), Timothy J. Liston (Middlesex), Kevin D. Lawlor (Ansonia-Milford), Stephen J. Sedensky III (Danbury) and Gail P. Hardy (Hartford), and Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Eva Lenczewski (Waterbury).
Also in attendance were Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Michael A. Gailor, Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist Patricia Alston and Communications Officer Mark A. Dupuis.
On a motion by Mr. Smriga, seconded by Mr. Liston and others, the minutes of the December 28, 2009, meeting were approved unanimously.
Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist Patricia Alston reported on the status of the Division of Criminal Justice Affirmative Action Plan. The plan was given conditional approval by the State of Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. There was discussion as to what the State’s Attorneys can do to assist the Division in addressing the issues that resulted in the conditional approval.
The State’s Attorneys were asked to give careful consideration to the decision to interview candidates for prosecutor positions who do not have experience in criminal law. Candidates from outside the Division who have applied for clerical positions should not be interviewed if they lack the required experience. Chief State’s Attorney Kane noted that complete tracking sheets are essential to the Affirmative Action review process.
Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported on the work of courthouse security committees. The State’s Attorneys were asked to be sure that their offices participate in the committees. Attention also should be paid to security at Juvenile Court locations and any concerns brought to the security committees.
Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported on a letter received by the Division expressing concerns about assaults on police officers in Hartford. State’s Attorney Hardy stated that all incidents are handled on a case-by-case basis with sufficient attention paid to the individual matter. There was general discussion. No need for further action was stated.
Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported that the State of Connecticut Office of Policy and Management announced a $3 million grant for the Division for a case management system. Chief State’s Attorney Kane further stated the Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) Board appears in agreement that the most important area to focus its attention on at this time is the transfer of information from police to prosecutors.
State’s Attorney Froehlich discussed the issue of the retention of records by the Connecticut State Police and instances where records had been destroyed in cases where no arrest was made or the arrestee failed to appear in court. Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Boyle will pursue the matter with the Commanding Officer of the Connecticut State Police.
There was discussion of how to deal with requests brought to police departments under the Freedom of Information (FOI) act for information in pending criminal cases.  The State’s Attorneys were asked to be aware of the situation and to report any problems or concerns to the Chief State’s Attorney.
State’s Attorney Cohen reported on a meeting between himself, State’s Attorneys Froehlich and Murphy and the State of Connecticut Victim Advocate, Michelle Cruz. The Victim Advocate has again been asked to direct all requests for information about matters involving the Division to the State’s Attorney for the Judicial District involved.
Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported that the State of Connecticut Department of Correction has received a grant to accelerate the collection of DNA samples from inmates. A significant number of inmates is refusing to submit samples as required by law. There was general discussion on how the Division should proceed to achieve compliance. No decision was made.
Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported briefly on the upcoming session of the General Assembly. The Division’s top priority will again be reform of the habeas process to reduce the substantial financial burden it places on the Division and other agencies. There was brief discussion of the Judicial Branch’s announced plans to close certain law libraries and other general budget concerns.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 1:47 p.m.