Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of July 16, 2018
Office of the Chief State’s Attorney
Rocky Hill, Connecticut

Chief State’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane called the meeting to order at 12:40 p.m.

In attendance were: Deputy Chief State’s Attorney John J. Russotto; State’s Attorneys Richard J. Colangelo, Jr. (Stamford/Norwalk), Matthew C. Gedansky (Tolland), Gail P. Hardy (Hartford), Maureen Platt (Waterbury), Brian W. Preleski (New Britain), Stephen J. Sedensky III (Danbury), David Shepack (Litchfield) and John C. Smriga (Fairfield); Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorneys John R. Whalen (acting State’s Attorney, Middlesex), Cornelius Kelly (Ansonia/Milford), Mark A. Stabile (Windham) and David J. Strollo (New Haven).

Also present: Executive Assistant State’s Attorneys Brian Austin, Jr., and Michael A. Gailor, 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 June 14, 2018, meeting. State’s Attorney Sedensky seconded the motion and it passed with no opposition.

State’s Attorney Sedensky announced that he is stepping down as Chair of the Finding Words Committee of the Governor’s Task Force on Justice for Abused Children after 11 years. Chief State’s Attorney Kane expressed gratitude to State’s Attorney Sedensky for his long commitment to the Finding Words training program. The State’s Attorneys are encouraged to consider volunteering themselves or seeking volunteers from their staffs to take over this important assignment. The Finding Words training set for November is pending appointment of a new Chair for what is now a subcommittee of the Governor’s Task Force’s training committee.

Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Austin and Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Patrice Palombo led a discussion of the implementation of Public Act 18-5, An Act Concerning Dual Arrests and the Training Required of Law Enforcement Personnel with Respect to Domestic Violence. State’s Attorney Preleski suggested that the matter be referred to the Operations Committee. It was agreed the Operations Committee will take up the matter with input from prosecutors who regularly handle domestic violence matters.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported on concerns expressed by the Criminal Justice Commission with regard to prosecutor interaction with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel. It was noted that federal law governing these issues must be taken into consideration.

Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Gailor reported that a document on ethics guidelines for prosecutors is being finalized and should be ready for consideration at the August meeting. Chief State’s Attorney Kane stressed that all decisions on formal DCJ policies should be made by the Chief State’s Attorney and State’s Attorney working collaboratively as a team and must respect and preserve the authority of the State’s Attorneys as independent constitutional officers and the proper role of the Chief State’s Attorney as administrative head of the Division. Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that policy development appropriately involves the State’s Attorneys Committees (Management, Operations, Legislative and Training). New committee assignments are expected in September.

State’s Attorneys Platt, Preleski and Colangelo reported on their development of strategic business plans for their Judicial Districts. Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto said a management class is planned for October as the next step in development of strategic business plans by all State’s Attorneys and the Deputy Chief State’s Attorneys.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported on the budget. The Division anticipates filling at least 15 vacancies under current plans for the 2018-19 fiscal year. He noted that the Fairfield State’s Attorney’s office is compiling additional information on its workload and copies of those reports will be made available to all State’s Attorneys.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane asked the State’s Attorneys to recommend potential appointees, particularly those with expertise and experience in civil procedures, to serve on the task force created under Special Act 18-18, An Act Establishing a Task Force to Promote Efficiencies in the Filing of Habeas Corpus Matters.

There were no committee reports.

There being no further business, State’s Attorney Platt made a motion to adjourn. State’s Attorney Sedensky seconded the motion and the meeting adjourned at 1:40 p.m.