Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of August 27, 2012
Office of the Chief State’s Attorney
Rocky Hill, Connecticut

The meeting was called to order at 12:42 p.m. by Chief State’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane.

In attendance were: State’s Attorneys David I. Cohen (Stamford-Norwalk); Michael Dearington (New Haven); Patricia M. Froehlich (Windham); Matthew C. Gedansky (Tolland); Kevin D. Lawlor (Ansonia-Milford); Peter A. McShane (Middlesex); Maureen Platt (Waterbury); Michael L. Regan (New London); Stephen J. Sedensky III (Danbury); David Shepack (Litchfield); John C. Smriga (Fairfield); Deputy Chief State’s Attorneys Leonard C. Boyle and John J. Russotto; and Senior Assistant State’s Attorneys Anne Mahoney (Hartford) and John Malone (New Britain).

Also present: Executive Assistant State’s Attorneys Brian Austin, Jr., and Michael A. Gailor; Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Christopher Malany, Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Michael O’Hare and Division of Criminal Justice Communications Officer Mark A. Dupuis.

State’s Attorney Sedensky made a motion to approve the minutes of the July 23, 2012, meeting. The motion was seconded by State’s Attorney Smriga and approved unanimously.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported on initial preparations for the next biennial budget. The State’s Attorneys are asked to provide their input on personnel needs and priorities. The Office of Policy and Management is requiring detailed justification for all personnel requests. The budget development process begins in late September-early October.

Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Michael O’Hare reported on the status of In re: Racial Disparity et. al. v. Commissioner of Correction, which is scheduled to go to trial on September 5, 2012, at Northern Correctional Institution. All past and present State’s Attorneys are among the expected witnesses.

Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Anne Mahoney, the Chief State’s Attorney’s designee for the Child Fatality Review Board, reported on issues related to Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigations (SUIDI) and subsequent prosecutions. Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported positive response to training provided for law enforcement personnel on SUIDI issues.

Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Christopher Malany reported on the reorganization of the Asset Forfeiture Bureau and the need for better coordination and communication with police departments to implement the Division of Criminal Justice “Procedures for Referrals to Federal Agencies of Adoptive Forfeitures,” revised to September 6, 2007. Police chiefs will be briefed on the matter during the upcoming John M. Bailey Seminar on New Legal Developments Impacting Police Policies and Practices. A draft letter will be circulated to the State’s Attorneys for communication with appropriate federal agencies, and Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Malany will develop a form for use by police departments to facilitate implementation of the DCJ policy.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported on the implementation of the 2012 legislation involving eyewitness identification. Copies of the draft procedures being developed by the Police Officer Standards and Training Council were distributed. Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Gailor is collecting a repository of studies and other information involving eyewitness identification. All prosecutors are urged to sign up for the Prosecutor’s Encyclopedia and take advantage of the resources it provides.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Boyle reported that staff working on the Connecticut Information Sharing System (CISS) are planning to visit State’s Attorney’s offices to familiarize themselves with DCJ business practices so they may be incorporated into the CISS.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported on concerns raised by the state Victim Advocate about “informal continuances.” Chief State’s Attorney Kane stated that he has requested the Victim Advocate to provide more specific information about instances where this may have happened but has received no response. The State’s Attorneys are asked to report on the extent to which, if any, such incidents occur. It was suggested that any such incidents would more appropriately be addressed through the Judicial Branch victim advocates at the individual courts.

State’s Attorney Smriga expressed support for a DCJ mission statement and the draft statement discussed at a previous meeting. Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Boyle will distribute the draft statement for consideration at a future meeting. State’s Attorney Lawlor will provide the Chief State’s Attorney with a mission statement developed by the Ansonia-Milford State’s Attorney’s office.

State’s Attorney Froehlich reported on the Training Committee: a daylong training program for State’s Attorneys and Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorneys is tentatively scheduled for October 24, 2012; the committee is refining a proposal for a mentoring program; the committee is considering regional training opportunities to reduce travel time; 87.5 percent of prosecutors are in full compliance with training requirements and 91 percent have had at least some training this year.

State’s Attorney Sedensky made a motion to enter executive session at 2:00 p.m. to discuss a personnel issue. The motion was seconded by State’s Attorney Froehlich and passed unanimously. All but the State’s Attorneys, Chief State’s Attorney and Deputy Chief State’s Attorneys were excused from the executive session. No motions were made or votes taken during the executive session, which ended at 2:10 p.m.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 2:12 p.m.