Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of May 19, 2014
Office of the Chief State’s Attorney
Rocky Hill, Connecticut

The meeting was called to order at 12:37 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), Matthew C. Gedansky (Tolland), Gail P. Hardy (Hartford), Kevin D. Lawlor (Ansonia-Milford), Maureen Platt (Waterbury), Michael L. Regan (New London), Stephen J. Sedensky III (Danbury) and John Smriga (Fairfield); Deputy Chief State’s Attorneys Leonard C. Boyle and John J. Russotto; and Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorneys Barbara Hoffman (Middlesex) and Mary Rose Palmese (New Britain).

Also present: Executive Assistant State’s Attorneys Brian Austin, Jr., and Michael A. Gailor and Communications and Legislative Specialist Mark A. Dupuis.

Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Gailor reported on the passage of H.B. No. 5525, An Act Concerning Child Pornography. It was decided that further discussion should be put off until all have had a chance to review the act.

The meeting was recessed from 12:42 p.m. to 12:44 p.m. to allow for the meeting of the State’s Attorneys’ Advisory Board.

State’s Attorney Lawlor made a motion to approve the minutes of the April 21, 2014, meeting. The motion was seconded by Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Boyle and passed unanimously.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported on the status of the 2014-15 budget. The Appropriations Committee budget includes 11 positions more than recommended by the Governor.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported the 2014-15 budget adopted by the General Assembly includes 11 new positions to convert per diem employees to permanent status. The Office of Policy and Management is again requiring documentation to justify any hiring. Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto will survey the State’s Attorneys individually to establish priorities for filling vacancies.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported on the 2014 legislative session. Among the notable legislation passed was H.B. No. 5586, An Act Concerning Revisions to Various Statutes Concerning the Criminal Justice System.

Chief State’s Attorney reported on Victim Rights Enforcement Advisory Commission established by the Governor and chaired by Victim Advocate Garvin Ambrose. The Chief State’s Attorney or his designee is a member. The State’s Attorneys are asked to offer input as the commission proceeds with its work.

State’s Attorneys Smriga, Hardy and Dearington spoke on the implementation of and experience with Project Longevity. Chief State’s Attorney Kane noted the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut is applying for a grant to expand the project to 16- and 17-year-olds.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported that new equipment will be put in place by the Judicial Branch to provide notification to DCJ Inspectors based at courthouses when emergencies occur at those locations.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Boyle reported the Judicial Branch will not accept motor vehicle violation cases generated through the “Smart Bus” company.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported the Connecticut Innocence Project approached the Division about establishing a “conviction integrity unit.” No specific proposal was presented. Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Boyle reported that the Post-Conviction DNA Testing Program operated in conjunction with the Innocence Project has not resulted in the reversal of any conviction.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported on the June 13, 2014, prosecutor training program. The morning will be devoted to ethics and the afternoon to legislative developments and appellate decision updates.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported on preliminary discussions concerning the establishment of additional supervisory positions to provide expanded career path and advancement opportunities for DCJ employees.

State’s Attorney Cohen made a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded by State’s Attorney Sedensky and passed unanimously at 2:08 p.m.