Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of May 24, 2010
Office of the Chief State's Attorney
Rocky Hill, Connecticut

The meeting was called to order 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); State’s Attorneys David I. Cohen (Stamford/Norwalk), Matthew C. Gedansky (Tolland), Gail P. Hardy (Hartford), 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); Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Eva Lenczewski (Waterbury) and Assistant State’s Attorney Matthew A. Crockett (Windham).

Also in attendance: Special Assistant State’s Attorney Judith Rossi and Communications Officer Mark A. Dupuis.

State’s Attorney Cohen moved to accept the minutes of the previous meeting. The motion was seconded by State’s Attorney Sedensky and approved without opposition.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported on communication from Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Timothy Sugrue of the Appellate Bureau on whether the Division should adopt a policy or offer training on the scope of the statutory authority to issue subpoenas in pending cases. It was agreed that Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Sugrue will be asked to do further research and hopefully issue an educational memo. The State’s Attorneys also were encouraged to discuss with prosecutors issues surrounding the issuance of subpoenas.

The State Victim Advocate has written to all State’s Attorneys requesting information with regard to legislative changes to the statutes on protective orders. It was agreed that the Chief State’s Attorney will draft and circulate among the State’s Attorneys a response to be sent to the Victim Advocate on behalf of the Division.

Judith Rossi reported on the tentative agenda for the Annual Prosecutors Training Program to be held June 17-18 at the Superior Court in New Britain. Presentations now planned include prosecutor professionalism, plea negotiations, cell phone evidence, digital forensics, bail and sentencing (Judicial Branch), child abuse, making a record for an appeal and the legislative and legal updates. Additional suggestions were a presentation by the Department of Public Safety Forensic Science Laboratory, including how to decide what should be sent to the lab for analysis. It was agreed that the annual training should be obligatory for certain prosecutors, as in the past it has been for those with three or fewer years experience.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that the Division was successful in having $600,000 restored to the Other Expenses line item of the budget adopted by the General Assembly. The Division is now awaiting the “back of the budget” adjustments by the Office of Policy and Management to determine final appropriations for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2010. No decisions on staffing, etc., can be made until these final figures are determined, which should happen in early to mid-June.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane asked the State’s Attorneys to carefully examine the proposals from the Judicial Branch for Intensive Probation Supervision Units (IPSU) to achieve savings related to prison costs. The Chief State’s Attorney and others cited the need for the Division to produce more detailed records justifying bond and sentence recommendations and decisions.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Boyle elaborated on a letter sent to the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association concerning the investigation of financial crimes. The eight Inspectors now assigned to the Financial Crimes Bureau are dealing with an increased caseload. The goal of the letter is to engage municipal police departments more directly in the investigation of financial crimes. Local officers will be assigned to work with Inspectors along the lines highly successful system currently utilized by the cold case units.

State’s Attorney Liston circulated for signatures of the State’s Attorneys stating their support for federal funding of the National District Attorneys Association National Advocacy Center.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto presented a recommendation concerning the destruction of records in juvenile cases. The proposal would mirror the policy for records retention in adult cases involving felony and misdemeanor charges. There would also be a one-year retention period for Families With Service Needs (FWSN) cases. A written policy will be circulated to the State’s Attorney for review and adoption.

State’s Attorney Sedensky reported on his communication to the State’s Attorneys concerning the training of first responders in child abuse cases so as to not jeopardize subsequent investigation and prosecution.

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