DNA Data Bank Oversight Panel

Minutes of Meeting
March 12, 2013

The meeting convened at 9:40 a.m. Present at the meeting were Guy Vallaro, Director, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP)-Forensic Lab; Angela Przech, DESPP-Forensic Lab; Patricia Johannes, DESPP-Forensic Lab; Megan Olt, DESPP-Forensic Lab; Karen Gabianelli, DESPP; David Maiga, Department of Correction (DOC); Wanda White-Lewis, DOC; Lynn Wittenbrink, Attorney General’s Office; Michael Aiello, Court Support Services Division; and Michael Gailor, Office of the Chief State’s Attorney.

The minutes of the meeting of December 11, 2012, were accepted. 

Guy Vallaro was introduced as the new director of the laboratory and Megan Olt as the Alternate State CODIS administrator.    

On behalf of the laboratory, Ms. Johannes reported that an NDIS assessment of the CT DNA database was conducted by the FBI CODIS unit on February 26 and 27, 2013. Potential findings were discussed after the assessment and a written report listing any findings/action items will be issued within 30 days of the assessment. The lab will have 14 days to respond with a plan for remediation.    

Ms. Johannes reported that as of February 28, 2013, approximately 94,795 convicted offender samples (not accounting for duplicates) have been submitted to the lab. Of these samples, 90,982 have been profiled and are resident in CODIS. There are 4,691 profiles in the Forensic Index.

The lab reported that 2016 investigations have been aided so far based on 1941 confirmed hits. Approximately 65 candidate matches are under evaluation. As of February 28, 2013, four thousand sixty-seven criminal cases are awaiting DNA analysis and/or results. The lab continues to work with the submitting agencies and the State’s Attorneys’ offices to identify cases that no longer require DNA analysis. Initial efforts in this regard have been successful in reducing the backlog. 

Validation of a new test kit, Identifiler Plus, has been completed and analysts are in the process of completing their training and competency tests with the new kits. Training and competency testing on the use of the EZ1 extraction robot for forensic samples is anticipated to begin on March 15, 2013. It is anticipated that the use of the robots will increase productivity by reducing the amount of time it takes to purify DNA from forensic samples. Validation of the Biomek 3000 (a replacement robot used in processing database samples) are ongoing. Final approval of the prototype for collection kits has been given and it is anticipated that GE Healthcare will being production soon. 

CSSD reported that from October 2012 through December 2012, they scheduled 742 appointments to obtain DNA samples and that they were able to collect 583 samples which is a collection rate of approximately 78 percent. They obtained 270 samples from other sources. CSSD reported that in 314 non-probation cases they still needed to obtain samples from 120 individuals. CSSD submitted 38 new warrants for the refusal to submit to the taking of a DNA sample to the State Police. For the 2012 year, CSSD scheduled 2831 appointments to collect samples and collected samples from 2211, or 78%, of the individuals. CSSD collected 1496 samples from other sources. CSSD reported that they are attempting to get new kits for the taking of samples but have been unable to do so yet. They expect to get some before the end of the month and will be short if they don’t get them in time. 

DOC reported that they took 602 samples since the last meeting and 484 in 2013. The number of persons who have refused to provide a sample has decreased by five to 273.   

Karen Gabianelli of DESPP reported that they are still awaiting personnel to assist in their duties. 

Lynn Wittenbrink reported that an agreement had been reached with ABI whereby ABI agreed to provide the State of Connecticut with $200,000 worth of free kits. ABI had previously provided the state with a number of kits that were found to be defective.    

The Committee went into executive session at 10:17 a.m. At 10:32 a.m. the meeting came out of executive session. As a result of actions taken during the executive session, sample 3-12-13A will be purged from the database and samples 3-12-13B, 3-12-13C, and 3-12-13D will be expunged from the database.    

At 10:34 a.m., the meeting was adjourned.

The next meeting of the Oversight Committee was scheduled for June 18, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. at the Forensic Science Laboratory.