Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of April 23, 2012
Office of the Chief State’s Attorney
Rocky Hill, Connecticut

The meeting was called to order at 12:58 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), and State’s Attorneys David I. Cohen (Stamford-Norwalk), Matthew C. Gedansky (Tolland), Gail P. Hardy (Hartford), Kevin D. Lawlor (Ansonia-Milford), Peter A. McShane (Middlesex), Maureen Platt (Waterbury), Brian W. Preleski (New Britain), Stephen Sedensky (Danbury), David Shepack and John C. Smriga (Fairfield).

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

The minutes of the March 19, 2012, were corrected to include State’s Attorney Shepack among those in attendance. State’s Attorney Shepack made a motion to approve the minutes as corrected. The motion was seconded by Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto and passed unanimously.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that the Division is still awaiting final figures from the General Assembly on the 2012-2013 mid-term budget adjustments.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane distributed a memorandum concerning the disposition of drug asset forfeiture cases and the need for the State’s Attorneys’ offices to handle these matters in the course of disposing of the underlying criminal cases. It was suggested that asset forfeiture be a topic for the annual prosecutor training. Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto will distribute statistics on the number of cases generated from each location. Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Christopher Malany of the Asset Forfeiture Bureau will serve as a resource for assisting in forfeiture cases.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported on the 2012 legislative session. The habeas reform bill has passed the House of Representatives and is pending in the Senate. Legislation to repeal the death penalty passed both the Senate and House of Representatives.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Boyle reported on a training memorandum issued to all prosecutors regarding the state Supreme Court decision in State v. Lenarz. The State’s Attorneys were urged to use extreme caution in all matters that might involve privileged materials.

There was discussion of the United States Supreme Court decision regarding plea canvasses and claims of ineffective assistance of counsel in the plea negotiation process.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane distributed a letter from the Board of Pardons and Paroles. The State’s Attorneys were asked to reiterate the need for prosecutors to order sentencing transcripts to be produced for the Board of Pardons and Paroles as required by law.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto distributed a draft policy prepared by the Training Committee on Annual Professional Development Conference (annual prosecutor training). It was decided that the training will be mandatory for all prosecutors unless they are excused in writing by the State’s Attorney.

The Training Committee recommended that the Division formalize the longstanding practice that the training requirement established in General Statutes section 51-279c for "newly appointed" prosecutors applies to those with less than three years of service. The committee’s recommendation was accepted.

Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Austin reported that the annual prosecutor training (Annual Professional Development Conference) scheduled for June 14-15, 2012, at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. The State’s Attorneys may be asked to assist in arranging for speakers to give presentations once the agenda is finalized.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that a May 2, 2012, leadership training program will be the first of four management training days for supervisory personnel. A condensed version will be offered to State’s Attorneys during the Annual Professional Development Conference.

A draft policy was distributed concerning the Division’s response to findings by the court of prosecutorial impropriety. The draft policy will be reviewed by labor counsel and circulated among the State’s Attorneys for further refinement.

A motion was made by State’s Attorney Lawlor, seconded by State’s Attorney Cohen and passed unanimously to enter executive session at 2:35 p.m. to discuss a personnel matter. Also present for the executive session were Executive Assistant State’s Attorneys Austin and Gailor and Communications Officer Dupuis. No motions were made or votes taken during the executive session, and it ended at 3:00 p.m.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:00 p.m. on a motion by State’s Attorney Cohen, seconded by State’s Attorney Gedansky and passed without opposition.