Chief State’s Attorney’s Meeting

Minutes of the Meeting of May 21, 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: State’s Attorneys Richard J. Colangelo, Jr. (Stamford/Norwalk), Matthew C. Gedansky (Tolland), Patrick J. Griffin (New Haven); Gail P. Hardy (Hartford), Kevin D. Lawlor (Ansonia/Milford), Anne F. Mahoney (Windham), Maureen Platt (Waterbury), Brian Preleski (New Britain), Stephen J. Sedensky III (Danbury), David Shepack (Litchfield) and John C. Smriga (Fairfield) and Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney John Whalen (acting State’s Attorney, Middlesex).

Also present: Executive Assistant State’s Attorneys Brian Austin, Jr., and Michael A. Gailor, legislative liaison Wilfred Blanchette, Jr., Communications and Legislative Specialist Mark A. Dupuis, Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney James Turcotte and Information Technology Manager Evelyn L. Godbout.

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

Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Gailor, Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Turcotte and Information Technology Manager Godbout presented the recommendation of the advisory committee for the case management system (CMS) concerning access to the system now under development. Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Gailor made a motion to adopt the advisory committee recommendation. The motion was seconded by State’s Attorney Shepack and passed with one vote in opposition.

State’s Attorney Hardy reported on concerns regarding referrals from the Department of Children and Families (DCF) for alleged violations of the mandated reporter laws. Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Boyle reported that DCF has made no complaints to the Division regarding the handling of referrals.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane expressed his gratitude to Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Boyle, who has been appointed as First Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut.

State’s Attorney Shepack reported that the Operations Committee met and reviewed implementation of Section 4-8a of the General Statutes. A memorandum concerning the law’s reporting requirements has been sent by the Chief State’s Attorney to state agency heads.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that Ngina McMillian, DCJ Human Resources/Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist, will work with the State’s Attorneys to draft a community outreach and cultural competency plan for each Judicial District. A plan is also being developed for the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney. The goal is to complete the plans by September.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto said the draft ethics policy is nearing completion. The draft will be circulated to the State’s Attorneys for discussion and a vote at the June meeting.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that State’s Attorneys Colangelo, Griffin, Platt and Preleski volunteered to participate in a project with the Department of Public Policy at the University of Connecticut to develop strategic business plans for their Judicial Districts. Future management classes will be held on monthly meeting dates for training of all the State’s Attorneys to develop their plans.

Deputy Chief State’s Attorney Russotto reported that the General Assembly adopted a budget appropriating approximately $47.2 million the Division for the 2018-19 fiscal year. The budget allows the filling of approximately 24 vacancies, leaving 42-44 vacant positions.

Legislative liaison Wilfred Blanchette reported that several bills DCJ opposed during the 2018 Regular Session of the General Assembly are likely to be introduced in the 2019 session. Chief State’s Attorney Kane has contacted the Division of Public Defender Services to initiate discussions on discovery requirements encompassed in unsuccessful 2018 legislation. Mr. Blanchette thanked the State’s Attorneys for their assistance during this year’s session.

Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Austin reported that the Annual Professional Development Conference for Prosecutors will be held June 14, 2018. The Division is compiling a list of prosecutors who are asking to be excused from the mandatory training.

The State’s Attorneys are urged to send representatives to a May 24, 2018, training program conducted by the Office of Victim Services. The program will focus on the CT SAVIN victim notification system and crime victim compensation.

State’s Attorney Platt reported that her office will offer ethics training for prosecutors on June 13, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and an afternoon program on June 15, 2018, conducted by the Waterbury Police Department on courtroom presentations for DCJ clerical employees.

State’s Attorney Lawlor reviewed the program for the Governor’s Reimagining Justice Conference to be held on May 30, 2018, at the Cheshire Correctional Center. Nine State’s Attorneys and Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Gailor are scheduled to attend.

Executive Assistant State’s Attorney Austin reported that the Division has reached an agreement with the operators of to provide free licenses allowing DCJ personnel to access police body camera footage.

State’s Attorney Russotto reminded the State’s Attorneys to let him know their preferences for State’s Attorneys’ committee assignments as new assignments are being planned.

State’s Attorney Russotto reported that the Criminal Justice Commission will meet June 1 to fill Deputy Assistant State’s Attorney (DASA) positions for the Tolland and Stamford/Norwalk Judicial Districts; June 21 to act on the reappointments of the Deputy Chief State’s Attorney for Personnel, Finance and Administration and State’s Attorneys for the Ansonia/Milford, Danbury and Stamford/Norwalk Judicial Districts and DASA positions for the New Britain Judicial District; July 13 to appoint the Deputy Chief State’s Attorney for Operations; and July 24 to appoint the State’s Attorney for the Middlesex Judicial District.

The Honorable Andrew J. McDonald, Chair of the Criminal Justice Commission, is asking the State’s Attorneys to submit in writing what they are looking for in candidates before meetings where the commission is to make DASA appointments.

State’s Attorney Gedansky reported that an issue resulting from the closing of the Judicial Branch records center in Enfield was resolved. The Division has been assured that all services provided by the center will continue to be available through the new system.

Chief State’s Attorney Kane reported that the General Assembly approved the appointments of 31 new Superior Court judges. The Division has expressed its position that DCJ lacks the staff to support any major expansion of court dockets that could be contemplated because of the appointments.

There being no further business, State’s Attorney Colangelo made a motion to adjourn. State’s Attorney Lawlor seconded the motion and the meeting was adjourned at 2:15 p.m.