Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Services Council
Virginia Beach Sheraton Oceanfront Hotel
August 2, 2018 3:00 p.m.
Council Members Present
Patricia T. Watson (Greensville Co./Emporia), Chairman
Roy F. Evans (Smyth County), First Vice Chairman
Jeffrey W. Haislip (Fluvanna County), Second Vice Chairman
James E. Plowman (Loudoun County), Secretary
Eric L. Olsen (Stafford County), Past Chairman
Council District Representatives:1. LaBravia J. Jenkins (Fredericksburg)
2. Nathan R. Green (Williamsburg/James City County)
3. Georgette C. Phillips (Isle of Wight)
6. David L. Ledbetter (Waynesboro)
7. Travis D. Bird (Spotsylvania County)
10. Marc H. Abrams (Winchester)
11. Raymond F. Morrogh (Fairfax County)
Other Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Present
Donald S. Caldwell (Roanoke City)
Paul B. Ebert (Prince William County)
E. M. Wright (Buckingham County)
John L. Mahoney (Caroline County)
Colin D. Stolle (Virginia Beach)
Anton A. Bell (Hampton)
Gregory D. Underwood (Norfolk)
Susan O. Fierro (Prince George County)
Darrel W. Puckett (Appomattox County)
R. Bryan Haskins (Pittsylvania County)
W. Lyle Carver (Amherst County)
Theresa J. Royall (Nottoway County)
Shannon L. Taylor (Henrico County)
Theo K. Stamos (Arlington County)
Gerald D. Arrington (Buchanan County)
Christian E. Rehak (Radford)
Anne M. Williams (Clarke County)
Ross P. Spicer (Frederick County)
M. Andrew Nester (Henry County)
Bethany Harrison (Lynchburg)
Chris Billias (Rockbridge County/Lexington)
Paul McAndrews (Campbell County)
Gray Collins (Colonial Heights)
Cheryl Wilson (Petersburg)
John Alexander (Botetourt County)
Mike Hurd (Middlesex County)
Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorneys Present
Mike Pfleiger (Lynchburg)
Marie Walls (Suffolk)
Vaughn Breedlove (Suffolk)
Lori DiGiosia (Stafford County)
Linda Jackson, Director, DFS
Katya Herndon, Deputy Director, DFS
CASC Staff Present
Jane Sherman Chambers
VACA Staff Present
Michael R. Doucette, Executive Director
Call to Order
Ms. Watson called the meeting to order at 3:03 p.m.
The draft minutes from the June 6, 2018, meeting were previously posted and circulated to Council. The minutes were approved as submitted.
Ms. Watson welcomed everyone to the 2018 Annual Summer Conference and asked everyone to introduce themselves. She thanked Mr. Stolle and Ms. Hooks for their tremendous efforts in revitalizing the VACA social events. Ms. Watson asked members to fully participate in the body worn camera study that will be conducted by the Comp Board. Finally, Ms. Watson congratulated the winners of the CASC Michael R. Doucette Lecturer of Merit Awards.
Ms. Chambers reported that she attended the NAPC and NDAA conferences in Spokane, Washington. The NAPC conference was very useful and she brought back many good ideas. The NDAA Human Trafficking Summit was very informative and she intends for CASC to be providing additional human trafficking training in the near future. She also reported that she was elected to be the NAPC Vice President, which means that she likely will become President next summer.
Ms. Chambers reviewed the CATF balance sheets reflecting account activity in May and June, 2018.
W&M – Temporary Transfer Agreement (TTA) Update
Ms. Chambers reported that the TTA with William & Mary was signed in June. It will be renewed annually through 2033 without any action being taken as long as neither party exercises their right to terminate the agreement on 180 days notice.
Richmond Office & Meeting Space Rental Update
Ms. Chambers reported that she and Mr. Doucette have an appointment on August 9, 2018, to look at available office and meeting space at both the downtown SunTrust Building and the Bank of America Building. She invited anyone interested in looking at the space to join them.
2018 Annual Summer Conference Update
Ms. Chambers reported that the training portion of the Annual Summer Conference will provide 9.5 CLE hours (2 in Ethics.) CASC has registered 373 people, 243 of whom signed up for CLE’s only. VACA had 130 people sign up for their social events, along with 68 adult guests and 48 child guests. Ms. Chambers reported that 8 vendors will be setting up booths and she encouraged everyone to stop by and talk to them.
Ms. Chambers announced that the winners of the 2018 Lecturer of Merit Awards are Margaret “Evie” Eastman of Arlington/Falls Church, Tom Shaia of Suffolk and Amy Stinnette of Chesapeake. They will be recognized both at the CASC training on Saturday morning and at the VACA dinner on Saturday night.
CASC Committee on the Future of Spring Institute
Ms. Watson reported that she has formed a special committee to look at the future of Spring Institute. At this point, Spring Institute will be held in Norfolk through 2021. She reviewed the list of appointed committee members. Mr. Stolle made a motion to also add Ms. Parr from Chesapeake to the committee. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
DFS Backlog Testing – Linda Jackson, Director, Department of Forensic Science
Ms. Jackson circulated a handout that addressed issues currently facing DFS regarding the testing of controlled substances. In each of the past 2 years, they have experienced a 10% increase in submissions. This year they already are at a 10% increase and it’s only the beginning of August. As of the end of July, they had a backlog of over 13,000 cases. DFS is working very hard to address this problem. Their employees are working mandatory overtime. The General Assembly has funded new chemists, but it takes 10 to 11 months to train them. Even with the newly hired chemists, the backlog will grow if submissions continue at the current rate. DFS has developed 4 solutions to help address the problem: 1) outsource backlogged cases with 1 or 2 items submitted, 2) request additional staff, 3) implement a grant-funded efficiency study, 4) develop a submission policy with customer input. Ms. Jackson asked for volunteers to help develop item #4 and asked them to email her. Mr. Billias inquired about increasing the expert fee charged for DFS employees to come to court to testify. Ms. Jackson responded that those fees go into the General Fund, not the DFS budget. Ms. Jackson reminded attendees that video testimony is only available if all parties agree. She does not know how often video testimony is even discussed pre-trial as an option. She encouraged attendees to do so.
There being no further business before Council, the meeting adjourned at 3:40 p.m. The next regularly scheduled meeting is August 5, 2018, 8:30 a.m., at the Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront.