Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of July 19, 2010
Office of the Chief State’s Attorney
Rocky Hill, Connecticut

The meeting was called to order at 12:38 p.m. by Chief State’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane.

Also in attendance were 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), Kevin D. Lawlor (Ansonia-Milford), Timothy J. Liston (Middlesex), Scott J. Murphy (New Britain), Michael L. Regan (New London), David Shepack (Litchfield) and John C. Smriga (Fairfield), Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorneys Warren C. Murray (Danbury) and Dennis J. O’Connor (Hartford) and Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Cynthia S. Serafini (Waterbury).

Also present: Michael A. Gailor, Executive Assistant State’s Attorney; Judith Rossi, Special Assistant State’s Attorney; and Mark A. Dupuis, Division of Criminal Justice Communications Officer; and guests David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut; Michael Gustafson, Chief of the Criminal Division, Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut; Linda Cimino, Director, Office of Victim Services, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch; and Tina Bouchard, Court Planner, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane introduced United States Attorney Fein and Mr. Gustafson. Attorney Fein spoke about his activities since becoming United States Attorney and took questions about his office and its relationship with the Division of Criminal Justice and the State’s Attorneys.

A motion was made by State’s Attorney Froehlich, seconded by State’s Attorney Murphy to approve the minutes of the previous meeting as corrected by State’s Attorney Liston. The motion passed unanimously.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported that six positions have been posted and/or advertised to be filled. Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that the Division anticipates filling eight to ten additional positions during this fiscal year. Positions will be phased in through the fiscal year based on budgetary considerations. The State’s Attorneys will be consulted in the process.

State’s Attorney Smriga noted the substantial discrepancy in the amount spent on expert witnesses by the Division of Public Defender Services and the Division of Criminal Justice. (DCJ receives substantially less.) Chief State’s Attorney Kane acknowledged the discrepancy but stated that if an expert witness is needed, the witness should be retained.

Chief State’s Attorney introduced Linda Cimino, who announced that the Statewide Automated Victim Information Notification system (SAVIN) will go into operation on August 5, 2010. Ms. Cimino explained how the system will work and distributed copies of brochures for the State’s Attorneys to make available to crime victims. It is anticipated the SAVIN system will ultimately replace the need for many of the manual notifications now required by various statutes. The State’s Attorneys were asked to assist in publicizing the SAVIN system to victims.

Ms. Cimino reported that the Office of Victim Services plans to launch the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) pilot program on October 1, 2010. Six hospitals will be involved in the pilot program, which will include use of cameras to provide high-quality evidence for criminal prosecutions.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Boyle explained section 64 of Public Act 09-7, September special session. The State’s Attorneys were asked for each Judicial District to designate one employee with supervisory duties to process the “certification of helpfulness” on Form I-918 for crime victims applying for U Nonimmigrant Status.

Judith Rossi reported on the Arnold Markle Symposium scheduled for September 27-28, 2010, on the subject of shootings involving police officers. Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto asked that each Judicial District select one prosecutor and one Inspector to attend the symposium. There was brief discussion of training possibilities; additional information will be forthcoming.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane noted concern among some in Connecticut law enforcement about a National Science Foundation report on forensic science. The State’s Attorneys were asked to be on alert for attempts by the defense bar to utilize the report to undermine the prosecution of criminal matters.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 1:50 p.m.