Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of August 27, 2018
Office of the Chief State’s Attorney
Rocky Hill, Connecticut

Chief State’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane called the meeting to order at 12:39 p.m.

In attendance were: Deputy Chief State’s Attorneys Kevin D. Lawlor and John J. Russotto; State’s Attorneys Richard J. Colangelo, Jr. (Stamford/Norwalk), Michael A. Gailor (Middlesex), Patrick J. Griffin (New Haven), Anne F. Mahoney (Windham), Maureen Platt (Waterbury), Brian W. Preleski (New Britain), Stephen J. Sedensky III (Danbury), David Shepack (Litchfield) and John C. Smriga (Fairfield); and Senior Assistant State’s Attorney John Fahey (Hartford).

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

State’s Attorney Colangelo made a motion to accept the minutes of the July 16, 2018, meeting. State’s Attorney Sedensky seconded the motion and it passed with no opposition.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported that school superintendents have expressed concerns regarding the mandated reporter laws. Additional information will be forthcoming from Hartford State’s Attorney Gail P. Hardy for discussion at the next meeting.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that work is continuing on the draft of the Ethical Guidelines for Prosecutors. Initial indications are that the Connecticut Association of Prosecutors is supportive. It was noted that no other class of attorneys employed by the State of Connecticut has a policy and/or guidelines as comprehensive as those being developed. The draft is expected to be ready for discussion at the next meeting.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that the University of Connecticut Department of Public Policy will conduct four management-training classes for the State’s Attorneys. The first will deal with development of strategic business plans. State’s Attorney Colangelo recommended that employee surveys be conducted in time to allow the results to be taken into consideration.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that it is not possible for the Division to fill all existing vacancies. The State’s Attorneys are asked to submit their top three priorities for filling vacancies in their Judicial Districts. Deputy Chief State’s Attorneys Russotto and Lawlor plan to visit all Judicial Districts to discuss staffing needs. The Division is exploring establishing a new employee classification utilizing paralegals for information technology and other duties as the new Case Management System goes into operation.

Legislative liaison Wilfred Blanchette reported on discussion to address concerns with Public Act 18-5, An Act Concerning Dual Arrests and the Training Required of Law Enforcement Personnel with Respect to Domestic Violence. Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Lawlor reported on a meeting he and Mr. Blanchette had with a representative of the Senate President Pro Tempore concerning potential legislation dealing with discovery in criminal cases. DCJ is continuing discussions and research.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto distributed a list of proposed assignments to the State’s Attorneys’ committees (Legislative, Training, Operations, Management). The State’s Attorneys should contact Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto with any questions or concerns.

State’s Attorney Shepack reported that the Operations Committee met to discuss implementation of Public Act 18-5. The committee agrees that secondary reports concerning the actions of individuals other than the "dominant aggressor" as defined in the public act (1) should be submitted to the State’s Attorney by the next business day; (2) should be sworn, and (3) that a standard form should be developed for use by the State’s Attorney for directing and documenting the disposition of the secondary report.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Lawlor reported on discussions with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) regarding operational aspects of the Finding Words training program. The November Finding Words training will proceed as planned. State’s Attorney Sedensky reported that Stamford Assistant State’s Attorney Michelle Manning will succeed him as a co-chair of the Finding Words committee of the Governor’s Task Force on Justice for Abused Children. The State’s Attorneys are asked to recommend a successor to Attorney Manning on the Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) committee. State’s Attorney Sedensky also recommended that the Chief State’s Attorney appoint another member to the task force.

State’s Attorney Gailor announced that he will compile the Division’s annual report on human trafficking investigations and prosecutions. The State’s Attorneys are asked to submit information for their districts.

State’s Attorney Platt reported on an increase in requests involving U-Visas for victims and witnesses in domestic violence and sexual assault cases. The State’s Attorneys are asked to monitor the situation.

State’s Attorney Smriga reported concerns that federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is deporting individuals who are released on bond but still have a state detainer hold.

There being no further business, State’s Attorney Smriga made a motion to adjourn. State’s Attorney Gailor seconded the motion and the meeting adjourned at 2:07 p.m.