Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of September 17, 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.

In attendance were: State’s Attorneys Michael Dearington (New Haven); Patricia M. Froehlich (Windham); Gail P. Hardy (Hartford); Maureen Platt (Waterbury); Brian Preleski (New Britain): Michael L. Regan (New London); Stephen J. Sedensky III (Danbury); David Shepack (Litchfield); John C. Smriga (Fairfield); Chief State’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane, Deputy Chief State’s Attorney John J. Russotto; Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Barbara Hoffman (Middlesex); and Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Richard J. Colangelo, Jr. (Stamford-Norwalk).

Also present: Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Brian Austin, Jr., and Division of Criminal Justice Communications Officer Mark A. Dupuis.

State’s Attorney Froehlich made a motion to approve the minutes of the August 27, 2012, meeting. The motion was seconded by State’s Attorney Sedensky and approved unanimously.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto asked the State’s Attorneys to submit their priorities for new positions along with detailed justification, as now required by the Office of Policy and Management (OPM). The Division will submit its budget requests to OPM in mid-October.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported that information has been distributed to the State’s Attorneys concerning the SMART Bus program for passing stopped school bus violations. The Litchfield State’s Attorney has had a presentation on the program; it is already operating in several other communities.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported that the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) is advertising for the new position of Executive Director of the Forensic Science Laboratory. Concerns were expressed about the backlog in conducting forensic examinations of computers; it was noted that several municipal police departments can be of assistance with such examinations. Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Colangelo noted the Division may wish to take advantage of programs offered by the National Computer Forensics Institute to train Inspectors to perform forensic analysis of computers.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that a mandatory training session for all Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorneys will be held on October 25, 2012, in Cromwell. The State’s Attorneys are encouraged to attend at least the first half of the program.

State’s Attorney Froehlich reported on behalf of the Training Committee. The Committee has developed a draft professional development policy including mentoring for all newly appointed prosecutors and engage in the following in the first two years of employment: (1) participate in a new Trial Review and Advocacy course; (2) participate in at least two trials; (3) observe at least two appellate arguments and participate in mooting; and (4) work in conjunction with a Civil Litigation Bureau attorney on at least two habeas petitions. Experienced prosecutors would be needed to present and critique as part of the Trial Review and Advocacy course, which would also be open to other than newly hired prosecutors . The State’s Attorneys agreed on the recommendations of the Training Committee, which will now be drafted as an official Division policy.

State’s Attorney Platt reported that the Management Committee is: (1) formulating a code of ethics for the Division; (2) developing a self-evaluation form that prosecutors would complete prior to their performance evaluation; and (3) working on a more meaningful evaluation process.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported that the Legislative Committee continues to receive proposals for legislation and/or court rules changes. All proposals are being reviewed. It is very helpful if submissions include draft language for legislation or rules whenever possible.

State’s Attorney Smriga raised concerns about the implications of the Supreme Court Lenarz ruling with regard to mail seized from correctional institutions and recorded inmate telephone conversations. The State’s Attorneys were urged to be alert to this concern.

State’s Attorney Froehlich made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 1:52 p.m. The motion was seconded by Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto and passed unanimously.