Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of October 17, 2011

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), Gail P. Hardy (Hartford), Kevin D. Lawlor (Ansonia-Milford), Maureen Platt (Waterbury), Brian Preleski (New Britain), Michael L. Regan (New London), Steven Sedensky (Danbury), David Shepack (Litchfield) and John Smriga (Fairfield). Mr. Boyle also attended in his capacity as Acting State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Middlesex.

Also present: Executive Assistant State’s Attorneys Brian Austin, Jr., and Michael A. Gailor and Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) Communications Officer Mark A. Dupuis.

State’s Attorney Smriga made a motion, seconded by State’s Attorney Cohen, to accept the minutes of the September 19, 2011, meeting. The motion passed unanimously.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that the Division has written the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) asking for authority to fill all vacant positions. Three positions are posted at this time: Middlesex State’s Attorney and Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorneys for the Civil Litigation Bureau and Part A, Hartford. Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported that Michael O’Hare is leaving the Civil Litigation position to devote full time to the death penalty racial disparity litigation after which he will be assigned to the Appellate Bureau.

State’s Attorney Sedensky reported on an amicus brief prepared by the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) regarding disclosure issues, including the extent to which state files must be disclosed. It was reported that Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Marjorie Dauster of the Appellate Bureau succeeded Senior Assistant State’s Attorney James Clark (ret.) on the Bar Association ethics committee.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported on continuing efforts to address problems at the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) Forensic Science Laboratory. There was discussion of ways to reduce the lab workload. It was again noted that it is important for the State’s Attorneys to be involved in determining what is submitted to the laboratory for testing. The Chief State’s Attorney will continue discussions on possible ways to reduce the backlog in firearms testing.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported on Public Act 11-252. Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Gailor will draft a memo advising police departments with regard to the requirement that all police departments adopt procedures for eyewitness identification. The Division continues to participate in the task force established pursuant to the act and must be prepared to respond to further developments.

State’s Attorney Platt raised the issue of security of COLLECT access points. The Division will investigate the possibility of having Judicial Branch contract maintenance employees fingerprinted in addition to undergoing background checks.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane invited the State’s Attorneys to provide input for legislation to be drafted by Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Christopher Malany of the Asset Forfeiture Bureau proposing revisions to Public Act 11-415 dealing with bail bonds.

Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Austin reported that a subcommittee of the Sentencing Commission is developing a list of primarily pre-1949 laws that are obsolete and should either be repealed or otherwise revised. Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported on opposition to a proposal in another subcommittee to expand sentence modification options for juveniles who are convicted and sentenced as adults for serious felonies. The Division will closely monitor.

State’s Attorney Platt announced that a testimonial for recently retired Middlesex State’s Attorney Timothy J. Liston will be held November 2, 2011, at the Inn at Middletown.

Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Gailor reported that the Governor’s Office is apparently examining extradition requests more closely to determine for budgetary reasons.

State’s Attorney Smriga suggested the Division focus on ways other than staff reductions or leaving vacancies unfilled to achieve savings.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto announced that the November meeting will include a continuation of the facilitated discussion of the Division’s mission that began at the June meeting.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported that the Criminal Justice Commission will meet November 2, 2011, to interview candidates for Middlesex State’s Attorney.

The meeting adjourned at 2:23 p.m. on a motion by State’s Attorney Shepack, seconded by State’s Attorney Lawlor, and approved without opposition.