Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of April 15, 2013
Office of the Chief State’s Attorney
Rocky Hill, Connecticut

The meeting was called to order at 12:44 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); Gail P. Hardy (Hartford); Kevin D. Lawlor (Ansonia-Milford); Maureen Platt (Waterbury); Brian Preleski (New Britain); Michael L. Regan (New London); David Shepack (Litchfield); and John C. Smriga (Fairfield); Deputy Chief State’s Attorneys Leonard C. Boyle and John J. Russotto; and Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Warren Murray (Danbury).

Also present: Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Michael A. Gailor; Division of Criminal Justice Communications and Legislative Specialist Mark A. Dupuis; DCJ Director of Information Systems Evelyn Godbout and attorney Garvin Ambrose, the State’s Victim Advocate.

State’s Attorney Lawlor made a motion to accept the minutes of the March 25, 2013, meeting. The motion was seconded by State’s Attorney Cohen and passed unanimously.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that the state’s hiring freeze remains in effect. DCJ continues to seek relief for the 19 positions frozen as of January 28, 2013. Positions that have become vacant since then can be refilled. State’s Attorneys must submit justification in requesting to fill such positions.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported on pending legislation. H.B. No. 6698, An Act Concerning Grand Jury Reform, remains the Division’s top priority. The Judiciary Committee deadline for acting on bills is Friday, April 19, 2013, at 5 p.m.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto distributed listings of training courses offered by the United States Secret Service National Computer Forensics Institute. DCSA Russotto reported that 250 law enforcement personnel are scheduled to attend a fourth training program on infant death investigations organized by the Division. The Annual Professional Development Conference for Prosecutors is June 13-14 at the University of Connecticut Law School. Presentations include legislative and legal updates and speakers on the art of perception and the impact of exposure to crime scene photographs and similar evidence. The third management training program for State’s Attorneys and Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorneys is May 7. The morning session is on workplace violence and the afternoon session on strategies for more effective communication at the supervisory level. On May 1, 2013, training will be offered at the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) Forensic Science Laboratory on the use of Facebook in criminal investigations.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane introduced guest speaker attorney Garvin Ambrose, the State’s Victim Advocate. There was discussion of procedures for restitution to victims. State’s Attorney Shepack expressed appreciation to attorney Ambrose for making introductory visits to each State’s Attorney’s office.

Evelyn Godbout gave a presentation on issues involving accessing video evidence on DCJ computers. Security of the Division’s network is the first priority. Concerns or questions should be directed to the Information Technology staff.

State’s Attorney Smriga stressed the importance for deployment as soon as possible of the newest generation of case presentation laptop computers.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported on employee disciplinary actions. The Office of the Chief State’s Attorney is available to assist in such matters.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Boyle distributed wallet cards to be distributed to employees listing emergency contact information for incidents of workplace violence.

Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Gailor asked the State’s Attorneys to contact the DESPP laboratory with concerns about any particular cases that were disposed of after problems were discovered because of faulty DNA test kits.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:20 p.m.