Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting

DRAFT Minutes of the Meeting of July 18, 2011
Office of the Chief State’s Attorney
Rocky Hill, Connecticut< p="">

The meeting was called to order at approximately 12:40 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), Timothy J. Liston (Middlesex), Scott J. Murphy (New Britain), Maureen Platt (Waterbury), Michael L. Regan (New London), David Shepack (Litchfield), and John C. Smriga (Fairfield).

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

State’s Attorney Shepack made a motion, seconded by State’s Attorney Gedansky, to accept the minutes of the meetings of June 17, 2011, and July 5, 2011, meetings. The motion passed unanimously.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane and Deputy Chief State’s Attorneys Russotto and Boyle reported on the Governor’s Budget Balancing Plan and the reductions in expenditures proposed by the Judicial Branch pursuant to Public Act 11-1 of the June Special Session. The Governor’s Budget Balancing Plan requires the elimination of 88 permanent positions (62 through employee layoffs) and the elimination of all per diem positions.

The Division must act with urgency to have plans in place and cannot wait with hope that an employee concessions plan will be adopted and avert the reductions. If implemented, the layoffs would require significant reallocation of remaining positions to meet operational needs. Significant numbers of positions would be shifted from the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney to locations within the Judicial Districts. In determining the reallocation of positions, the Division will factor in per diem employees and vacancies that have been unfilled since 2009 or earlier in assessing operational needs. The priority of the Division will be the prosecution of violent crimes. Much uncertainty remains as to the specifics of the Judicial Branch plans, including when specific courts would be closed. Although the Judicial Branch has indicated its intent to discuss its plans with the Division no formal discussions have occurred.

Layoffs of permanent employees and elimination of per diem positions would be effective September 1, 2011. Layoff notices would be distributed the week of July 25, 2011. The Department of Labor and the Department of Administrative Services plan to hold informational sessions to provide information on unemployment benefits and other matters affecting employees subject to layoff.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported on the need to re-examine the Voluntary Schedule Reduction program in light of operational needs. The Division intends to end the program effective October 1, 2011, should layoffs occur.

Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Gailor reported on issues arising from the implementation of Public Act 11-71, An Act Concerning the Penalty for Certain Nonviolent Drug Offenses, including when police should dispose of marijuana seized; how to proceed when the amount is found to be more than the one-half of one ounce addressed in the new law; how the judicial system will track subsequent offenders for purposes of applying the graduated penalties provided in the law; and issues concerning search of vehicles. Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Gailor will do further research on the issues raised.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported that the Criminal Justice Commission will meet Thursday, July 21, 2011, to consider the reappointment of the Chief State’s Attorney.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m.