Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of May 16, 2016
Office of the Chief State’s Attorney
Rocky Hill, Connecticut

Chief State’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane called the meeting to order at 12:41 p.m.

In attendance were: Deputy Chief State’s Attorneys Leonard C. Boyle and John J. Russotto; State’s Attorneys Richard J. Colangelo, Jr., (Stamford/Norwalk), Patricia M. Froehlich (Windham), Matthew C. Gedansky (Tolland), Gail P. Hardy (Hartford), Kevin D. Lawlor(Ansonia/Milford), Peter A. McShane (Middlesex), Maureen Platt (Waterbury), Brian Preleski (New Britain), Michael L. Regan (New London), Stephen J. Sedensky III (Danbury), David Shepack (Litchfield), John C. Smriga (Fairfield); and Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney John Waddock (New Haven).

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

State’s Attorney Sedensky made a motion to accept the minutes of the April 18, 2016, meeting. State’s Attorney Colangelo seconded the motion and it passed without opposition.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane introduced Assistant State’s Attorney Robin Schwartz, Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor, who reported on the decision by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to limit toxicological testing in certain cases. Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Boyle advised that any State’s Attorney with an immediate concern should contact Dr. Guy Vallaro, Director of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Forensic Science Laboratory.

Attorney Schwartz reported that the Forensic Laboratory will adopt an 18-month retention period for urine samples in operating under the influence (OUI) cases unless otherwise requested.

State’s Attorney Sedensky reported on the importance of active prosecutor participation in Multi-Disciplinary Teams (MDTs) for child abuse investigations. State’s Attorney Sedensky also reported on the admissibility of MDT interviews in child abuse prosecutions.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported on the budget adopted by the General Assembly. Some per diem employees who are scheduled for termination have asked to continue to assist the Division as volunteers. The budget imposes a 50 percent increase in health plan premium share for non-bargaining unit employees as well as a $125,000 cap on the annual pensions of non-bargaining unit employees hired after July 1, 2016. All affected employees will be notified individually regarding the health plan increase.

Wilfred Blanchette reported on the 2016 Regular Session of the General Assembly and the Special Session now under way.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that the Management Committee has met. It is recommending expansion of the Regionalized Infractions Adjudications Program (RIAP) statewide if funds become available. State’s Attorneys are asked to share any thoughts on improving communication with employees regarding budget matters.

Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Austin reported that the Board of Pardons and Paroles plans to begin hearings for individuals who were sentenced while under age 18 to lengthy periods of incarceration. The Division will determine its response on a case-by-case basis. Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Gailor reported that there are conflicting opinions at the trial court level on re-sentencing of individuals who were sentenced while under age 18 to life in prison without the possibility of parole. State’s Attorneys are urged to put a hold on any additional proceedings pending appellate review.

State’s Attorney Platt reported that the Commission on the Standardization of the Collection of Forensic Evidence in Sexual Assault Investigations is proposing to end the requirement for hair collection as part of the evidence process.

State’s Attorney Platt reported on redaction from arrest and search and seizure warrants of identifying information about victims of sexual assault or domestic violence. The State’s Attorneys reported they redact the information without a court order.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that the Center for Court Innovation will hold a “prosecutor roundtable” as part of its study of how the criminal justice system deals with low-level offenders. The roundtable will be June 21, 2016, at the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney.

Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Austin reminded the State’s Attorneys that the Annual Professional Development Conference for Prosecutors will be held on Monday, June 13, 2016.

State’s Attorneys are asked to report which prosecutors will be excused from the mandatory program.

There being no further business, Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Boyle made a motion to adjourn the meeting. State’s Attorney McShane seconded the motion and it passed unanimously at 2:14 p.m.