Chief State's Attorney's Meeting

Minutes – February 22, 2010

The meeting was called to order at 12:40 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); State’s Attorneys David I. Cohen (Stamford/Norwalk), Michael Dearington (New Haven); Patricia M. Froehlich (Windham), Matthew C. Gedansky (Tolland), Gail P. Hardy (Hartford), Kevin D. Lawlor (Ansonia/Milford), Timothy J. Liston (Middlesex), Scott J. Murphy (New Britain), Michael L. Regan (New London), Stephen J. Sedensky, III (Danbury), David Shepack (Litchfield), John C. Smriga (Fairfield) and Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Eva Lenczewski (Waterbury).

Also in attendance: Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Michael A. Gailor, Special Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Judith Rossi, Chief Inspector John Edwards and Communications Officer Mark A. Dupuis.

Mr. Cohen made a motion, seconded by Mr. Sedensky to approve the minutes of the meeting of January 25, 2010. The motion passed without opposition.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane introduced Inspectors John Bannan of the Financial Crimes Bureau and Mark Miele of the Middlesex Judicial District who gave a presentation on revisions to the Application and Affidavit for Search Warrant form. The revisions were undertaken by the Judicial Branch with input from the Division of Criminal Justice. The revised form will be available to all law enforcement agencies through the Judicial Branch internet forms site. There was general discussion of issues related to search and seizure warrants and whether previous versions of the form should be acceptable once the revised version is implemented. Inspectors Bannan and Miele reported that work is also under way to revise the form for the application and affidavit for arrest warrants.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported on meetings with the General Assembly concerning the Division budget for the next fiscal year. The Division is being forced to leave vacant positions unfilled in order to address its projected deficit. State’s Attorneys were asked to provide their input and priorities for filling positions as the Division continues budget discussions with the legislature; Chief State’s Attorney Kane stressed the need to hold the line on all budget matters, including hiring.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported on the audit of internet use conducted by the Department of Information Technology. Mr. Russotto explained the procedure for overriding the blocking of specific sites, which is necessary for the Division to fulfill its law enforcement mission.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane announced that a Collaborative Symposium will be held April 15, 2010, at Quinnipiac Law School. The event is being financed by the Judicial Branch, the Division and the Division of Public Defender Services. There will be a morning session on “implicit bias” in the judicial system followed by an afternoon panel on eyewitness identification in criminal cases. State’s Attorneys are urged to attend and to promote the event within their offices.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported on requests being sent to the State’s Attorneys for ongoing input on legislation being introduced in the General Assembly. There was general discussion of bills dealing with records of the Psychiatric Security Review Board (PSRB) and Department of Children and Families (DCF) and perennial bills to require recording of interrogations in criminal investigations and concerning procedures for eyewitness identification in criminal investigations.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported that Chief Inspector John Edwards is developing a training program for major crime squad investigators on testifying in criminal trials. The plan is to involve prosecutors from throughout the Division as volunteers and to include prosecutors in those receiving training. The program is envisioned for the summer.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane and Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Gailor gave an update on the refusal by certain prison inmates to submit DNA samples as required by state law. The Division proposed legislation in the 2009 session of the General Assembly to specifically authorize the use of reasonable force to collect the DNA samples but the bill did not pass. The Division is continuing to monitor the situation to determine the best course for achieving compliance with the law. The State’s Attorneys were encouraged to make efforts to require collection of samples at the time of plea or prior to admission to the Department of Correction.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that printed copies of the Code of Evidence are available. There are adequate copies so each prosecutor will receive one.

There being no further business the meeting adjourned at 2:20 p.m.