Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting

Minutes – March 29, 2010
Office of the Chief State’s Attorney
Rocky Hill, Connecticut

The meeting was called to order at 12:46 p.m. by Chief State’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane.

In attendance were: Chief State’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane; Deputy Chief State’s Attorneys Leonard C. Boyle (Operations) and John J. Russotto (Personnel, Finance and Administration), State’s Attorneys Michael Dearington (New Haven), Patricia M. Froehlich (Windham), Gail P. Hardy (Hartford), Kevin D. Lawlor (Ansonia-Milford), 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 Attorneys James Bernardi (Stamford-Norwalk), and Eva Lenczewski (Waterbury), and Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Russell Zentner (Middlesex).

Also present: Michael A. Gailor, Executive Assistant State’s Attorney; Judith Rossi, Special Executive Assistant State’s Attorney; and Mark A. Dupuis, Division of Criminal Justice Communications Officer.

A motion was made by State’s Attorney Shepack, seconded by State’s Attorney Sedensky and others, and unanimously approved to accept the minutes of the previous meeting.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto and Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported on the status of state budget deliberations.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane urged the State’s Attorneys to promote attendance by prosecutors at the Collaborative Symposium on Implicit Bias that will be held April 15, 2010, at Quinnipiac University. The symposium is open to prosecutors, public defenders and will be attended by some police chiefs as well.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane stated that the Jury Committee Report and Recommendations by the Judicial Branch Public Service and Trust Commission has been distributed to the State’s Attorneys. All are encouraged to review the report to familiarize themselves with its recommendations concerning individual voir dire of prospective jurors.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Boyle asked if there was interest in forming a working group on witness issues, in light of a recent Connecticut Supreme Court decision concerning written cooperation agreements with witnesses and ongoing concerns and questions regarding compensation of witnesses. Deputy Chief State’s Attorneys Boyle and Russotto agreed to co-chair the working group. State’s Attorney Shepack and Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Bernardi agreed to serve. State’s Attorney Hardy expects to appoint two prosecutors and State’s Attorney Froehlich will assign one.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported on the status of legislation pending in the General Assembly. The Judiciary Committee deadline for reporting bills is March 29, 2010, at 5 p.m. Chief State’s Attorney Kane expressed concern of the large number bills to be acted upon in the limited amount of time available.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that the Office of Legal Publications will limit the number of full sets of Connecticut General Statutes to one per office location, not one per prosecutor as in the past. Each prosecutor will receive a set with the fewer number of volumes most frequently utilized by prosecutors.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane asked the State’s Attorneys to consult with juvenile prosecutors to assess the impact of the addition of 16-year-olds to the juvenile court and to assess their expectations for when juvenile court jurisdiction is expanded to include 17-year-olds.

Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Gailor thanked the State’s Attorneys and their staffs for contributing substantial data and other information for the Division’s presentation to the General Assembly in support of H.B. No. 5502, An Act Concerning Habeas Corpus Reform.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported on the initial success of the Cold Case Unit established for southeastern Connecticut cases. The unit is providing beneficial training for both investigators and prosecutors and the ultimate hope is to establish similar units for other parts of the state.

State’s Attorney Hardy inquired about the status of prosecutor access to Westlaw. Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported access remains but the log-in procedure has changed.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 1:30 p.m.