Chief State's Attorney's Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of April 18, 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 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) and David Shepack (Litchfield), and John C. Smriga (Fairfield); and Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorneys James Bernardi (Stamford-Norwalk) and Warren C. Murray (Danbury).

Also present: Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) Communications Officer Mark A. Dupuis, Supervisory Inspector Michael Sullivan of the Cold Case Unit, Assistant State’s Attorney Michael A. DeJoseph, Jr., and guest Kenneth B. Zercie, Director, Division of Scientific Services, Department of Public Safety Forensic Laboratory.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane introduced guest Kenneth Zercie, who discussed the need for better coordination in the submission of evidence in cold cases and the impact of budget constraints on the forensic laboratory. The protocol now used by the DCJ Cold Case Units for submission of evidence for testing will be distributed to all State’s Attorneys. The laboratory will assure that cases are reviewed by the State’s Attorney prior to accepting cold case evidence from police departments.

State’s Attorney Lawlor made a motion to accept the minutes of the March 21, 2011, meeting. State’s Attorney Froehlich seconded the motion, and it passed on a voice vote.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that the state administration directed all Executive Branch agencies to submit plans for reducing appropriations by an additional 10 percent, but no actual cuts have been put in place. The “worst case scenario” under the 10 percent reduction would mean the layoff of approximately 50 permanent employees in addition to the elimination of all per diem and temporary employees. Seniority lists will be provided to the State’s Attorneys. Chief State’s Attorney Kane urged the State’s Attorneys to provide their input and thoughts on how the Division should deal with any further budget reductions.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported on communications from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner concerning the investigation of “shaken baby” deaths. Dr. Susan S. Williams, M.D., Associate Medical Examiner, will be invited to the May meeting to discuss the matter.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported that the Sentencing Commission is requesting suggestions for legislative proposals for the 2012 session of the General Assembly. State’s Attorney Shepack, who also serves on the Commission, said an initial focus should be on collecting solid data concerning who is incarcerated and why. The State’s Attorneys were urged to continue to follow the Commission’s work and to provide their input, including suggested topics for research.

State’s Attorney Smriga introduced Assistant State’s Attorney Michael DeJoseph who distributed copies of the decision of the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, in United States v. Savage, 542 F.3d 959 (2d Cir. 2008). Attorney DeJoseph distributed sample forms of a long form information that can be utilized to provide the basis for a predicate state criminal conviction to allow for federal sentence enhancement. The Office of the Chief State’s Attorney will distribute sample forms to all State’s Attorneys for distribution to Geographical Area (G.A.) supervisors.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that the Annual Prosecutor Training will be mandatory for (1) all prosecutors with less than ten years experience, and (2) all prosecutors regardless of years of service who have not completed their training requirements for the year, unless excused by the State’s Attorney for the Judicial District where they are assigned.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported that the Judiciary Committee has completed its action on bills for the 2011 legislative session. The habeas corpus reform bill proposed by the Division was approved but was amended to remove the statute of limitations. It was suggested that the State’s Attorneys work to educate their local legislators on bills affecting the criminal justice system.

There being no further business, State’s Attorney Gedansky moved to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded by Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Boyle and passed on a voice vote at 2:18 p.m.