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MINUTES
Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Services Council
Stonewall Jackson Hotel, Staunton, VA
December 4, 2014

Council Members Present
Officers:
Nancy G. Parr (Chesapeake), Chairman
LaBravia J. Jenkins (Fredericksburg), First Vice Chairman
Eric L. Olsen (Stafford County) Second Vice Chairman
Patricia T. Watson (Greensville Co./Emporia) Secretary
Raymond F. Morrogh (Fairfax County), Past Chairman

Council District Representatives:

    1.  James P. Fisher (Fauquier County)
    5.   Denise Lunsford (Albemarle County)
    6.   Donald S. Caldwell (Roanoke City)
    7.   Shannon L. Taylor (Henrico County)
    8.   Bryan L. Porter (Alexandria)
    9.   Christian E. Rehak (Radford)
    10. Alexander R. Iden (Winchester)
    11. Raymond F. Morrogh (Fairfax County)

    Other Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Present
    Joel R. Branscom (Botetourt County)
    E. M. Wright (Buckingham County)
    Ray Robertson (Staunton)
    Billy Davenport (Chesterfield County)
    Michael R. Doucette (Lynchburg)
    Bucky Joyce (Rockbridge/Lexington)
    Michael Herring (Richmond)
    Chris Singleton (Bath County)
    Nathan R. Green (Williamsburg/James City County)
    Lyndia Ramsey (Sussex County)
    Holly Smith (Gloucester County)
    Cassandra S. Conover (Petersburg)
    Gregory D. Underwood (Norfolk)
    C. Linwood Gregory (New Kent County)
    C. Phillips Ferguson (Suffolk)
    Jeffrey W. Haislip (Fluvanna County)
    James R. Ennis (Prince Edward County)
    Stephanie Maddox (Amherst County)
    John C. Singleton (Bath County)
    William F. Neely (Spotsylvania County)
    Theo K. Stamos (Arlington/Falls Church)
    Roy F. Evans (Smyth County)
    Nicole M. Price (Washington County)
    James E. Plowman (Loudoun County)
    Bill Bray (Colonial Heights)
    Rusty McGuire (Louisa County)
    Ross P. Spicer (Frederick County)
    Michael Abbott (Wise County)
    Ann Cabell Baskervill (Dinwiddie)
    Anton A. Bell (Hampton)
    Jerry Wolfe (Bristol)
    Thad Cox (Craig County)
    Paul McAndrews (Campbell County)
    Ron Morris (Greene County)
    Keri Gusmann (King George County)
    Robert L. Cunningham (Lancaster County)
    Patricia D. Scales (Cumberland County)
    Ed Stein (Alleghany County)
    Georgette Phillips (Isle of Wight County)
    Julia Sichol (Westmoreland County)
    Ben Hahn (York/Poquoson)
    Lezlie S. Green (Brunswick County)
    Stephanie Vipperman (Patrick County)
    Eric Branscom (Floyd County)
    Mary Pettitt (Montgomery County)
    Mary Lester (Portsmouth)
    Rick Newman (Hopewell)
    Eric Cooke (Southampton/Franklin)
    Nora Miller (Mecklenburg County)
    Bryan Haskins (Pittsylvania County)
    Michael Hurd (Middlesex County)
    Robert Clement (Lunenburg County)
    Andrew Nester (Henry County)
    Clay Gravely (Martinsville)
    Terry Royall (Nottaway County)
    Tracy Q. Martin (Halifax County)
    Matthew Kite (King William County)
    Jane Wrightson (Northumberland County)
    David L Ledbetter (Waynesboro)

     

    Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorneys Present
    Chris Bullard (Richmond)
    Gray Collins (Colonial Heights)
    Mary Driskill (Amherst)
    William Hamilton (Halifax County)
    Susan Hooks (Virginia Beach)
    Nancy Oglesby (Henrico)
    Andrew Robbins (Frederick County)
    Tom Shaia (Spotsylvania County)

    Guests
    Molly Brown
    Jack Ritchie, CICF

    CASC Staff Present
    Jane Sherman Chambers
    Larry Martin
    Shannon Weist

    Call to Order
    Ms. Parr called the meeting to order at 2:05 p.m.  Ray Robertson, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Staunton welcomed everyone to Staunton.  Ms. Parr welcomed the new Commonwealth’s Attorneys: David Ledbetter, City of Waynesboro, Ann Cabell Baskervill, Dinwiddie County, Richard Cox, Powhatan County, Michael Abbott, Wise County, Georgette Phillips, Isle of Wight County, Mary Lester, Portsmouth, Eric Branscom, Floyd County, Stacy Estep Munsey, Lee County.   Ms. Parr also introduced Jack Ritchie, Director of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund, and thanked him for CICF’s contribution to the Executive Program.

    Minutes
    The draft minutes from the October 29, 2014, meeting were previously posted and circulated to Council.  The minutes were approved as submitted. 

    Chairman’s Report
    None.

    Administrator’s Report
    None.

    Old Business:

    Executive Program
    CASC Staff Attorney, Shannon Weist, reported that 129 Commonwealth’s Attorneys and Chief Deputies registered for this year’s Executive Program and that the training had been approved for nine hours of Continuing Legal Education credits.   There is currently a discussion with the Bar about the designation of 1 hour as Ethics, but she will notify members when that issue is resolved.  Ms. Weist reminded those present about the optional special events to be held that required separate payment in order to attend.  Ms. Weist acknowledged and thanked the Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys for sponsoring the Hospitality Suite during the Executive Program.  She advised that three vendors would be in the lobby during the training with information on their case management systems: Software Unlimited, Spartan Technologies and New Dawn.  Ms. Weist thanked Mr. Ritchie from CICF for sponsoring breakfast for attendees and for the purchase of wig heads to use as demonstrative evidence in the prosecution of strangulation cases.

    Council vacancies: 3rd and 4th Districts
    Nominations Committee chair, Mr. Branscom, reported the nomination of Michael Herring, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Richmond, to fill the 3rd District vacancy and Theresa Royall, Commonwealth’s Attorney for Nottaway County, to fill the 4th District vacancy. A motion was made, seconded and passed unanimously to elect the nominated candidates to serve as Council Representatives for their respective districts.

    Abbott Lab Update
    Mr. Caldwell recounted the history of the Abbott Lab Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Office of the Attorney General that established an $18 million fund to invest and use in perpetuity for the funding of Commonwealth’s Attorney Training.  He reported that TEOAF had denied the request of the General Assembly to move that money into law enforcement retirement.  Mr. Caldwell reported that Mr. Doucette has drafted legislation that will create a Commonwealth’s Attorneys Training Fund under VRS management.  This legislation is modeled directly after the Commonwealth Health Research Fund.   Council members are planning to meet with members of House Appropriations and Senate Finance to discuss this situation and to identify sponsors for the legislation.  Mr. Caldwell made a motion to request an allocation from Abbott Lab funds to pay for 2015 Spring Institute.  Discussion ensued and Mr. Caldwell withdrew his motion. 

    New Business

    CASC staff attorney position (part-time) -Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor (TSRP)
    Ms. Chambers announced that the DMV has awarded a grant to CASC to support the hiring of another part-time Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor.   This new attorney will have responsibilities different from those of Mr. Hibbard who puts together all CASC’s DUI and DUID training programs.  The new attorney will be available to assist with hands-on research on technical issues related to DUI and impaired driving cases, to assist with local law enforcement and prosecutor training throughout Virginia and to serve as second chair in complex cases when needed.  All expenses related to this position will be covered by the grant and the position will pay up to $43.26 per hour for up to 20 hours per week, with no benefits. The position would be well-suited to an experienced, retired prosecutor since it will be a home-based position and require significant travel. Ms. Chambers advised that applications will be accepted until the close of business on December 12, 2014.

    Registration fee for 2015 Spring Institute
    A motion was made, seconded and passed unanimously that the registration fee for Spring Institute to be set at $50.00 per person.

    Videoconferencing at Council Meetings
    Following discussion, Patti Watson agreed to draft a proposed change to the By-laws to permit videoconferencing participation via Skype for any member of Council, up to two meetings per year. The proposed change to the By-laws will be considered by Council at the Spring Institute meeting, March 22, 2015 at 1 p.m. at the Richmond Marriott (Downtown), Richmond, Virginia.

     

    Adjournment
    There being no further business before Council, the meeting adjourned at 3:05p.m.  The next regularly scheduled meeting is January 27, 2015, 11:00 a.m., at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Capitol Room, 2nd Floor, Richmond, Virginia.  


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Commonwealth's Attorneys' Services Council
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