Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Services Council
Richmond Marriott Hotel
March 22, 2015 1:00 p.m.
Council Members Present
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:
2. Colin D. Stolle (Virginia Beach)
3. Michael N. Herring (Richmond)
4. Theresa J. Royall (Nottaway 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)
Paul B. Ebert (Prince William County)
E. M. Wright (Buckingham County)
Michael R. Doucette (Lynchburg)
Holly Smith (Gloucester County)
Cassandra S. Conover (Petersburg)
Gregory D. Underwood (Norfolk)
C. Phillips Ferguson (Suffolk)
Jeffrey W. Haislip (Fluvanna County)
James R. Ennis (Prince Edward County)
John C. Singleton (Bath County)
Theo K. Stamos (Arlington/Falls Church)
James E. Plowman (Loudoun County)
William W. Davenport (Chesterfield)
Megan Frederick (Culpeper County)
Tracy Quackenbush Martin (Halifax County)
Trip Chalkley (Hanover County)
M. Andrew Nester (Henry County)
Anton Bell (Hampton)
Lyndia Ramsey (Sussex County)
Keri Gusmann (King George County)
Jay “C” Paul (Prince George County)
Matthew Kite (King William County)
Nora Miller (Mecklenburg County)
Georgette Phillips (Isle of Wight County)
William Bray (Colonial Heights)
Ed Stein (Alleghany County)
Ben Hahn (York/Poquoson)
Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorneys
Betty Jo Anthony (Roanoke City)
Elliott Casey (Albemarle County)
Todd Shockley (Halifax County)
Molly Brown, VACA Accountant
CASC Staff Present
Jane Sherman Chambers
Call to Order
Ms. Parr called the meeting to order at 1:02 p.m.
The draft minutes from the February 19, 2015, meeting were previously posted and circulated to Council. A motion was made, seconded and passed unanimously to amend the minutes to reflect Greensville Co./Emporia as the correct jurisdiction for Patricia T. Watson, Second Vice Chairman and to reflect Stafford County as the correct jurisdiction for Eric L. Olsen, Secretary. The minutes were approved as amended.
Ms. Chambers explained that CASC was able to purchase a mannequin head for each locality with generous funding provided by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund (CICF). The mannequin heads are extremely useful in the investigation and prosecution of strangulation cases. She asked that each Commonwealth Attorney be sure to pick up their wig head so that CASC does not have to store them.
Introduction – New CASC Staff Attorney/TSRP John Bowers
Ms. Chambers introduced John C. Bowers who has been hired by CASC as a part-time Traffic Safety Resources Prosecutor (TSRP). Mr. Bowers recently retired after 19 years with the Spotsylvania County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. He will assist with outreach and training efforts involving impaired driving cases. He spoke briefly about his effort to implement “No Refusal” programs throughout the state. This position is funded by a grant from the DMV.
VCAIS Update – Dick Whetstone
Mr. Whetstone explained that conversions from VCAIS to new case management systems are proceeding rapidly. Sixty-three offices utilized the VCAIS system, all of which eventually will need to be converted to new systems. Thirteen offices have selected Software Unlimited, twelve have chosen Prosecutor by Karpel, three have converted to Sungard and two have selected Spartan Technologies. A new vendor, Journal Technologies (formerly New Dawn), is exhibiting this year and has not yet been selected by any office. Currently there are fourteen Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ offices actively pursuing conversions of their case management systems. Ms. Parr commented on what a good job Mr. Whetstone has been doing and thanked him for all his hard work. Mr. Underwood asked how other offices are funding their conversions. Ms. Parr, Mr. Olsen and Ms. Frederick reported that their localities have funded theirs. Mr. Doucette commented that it would be helpful to know whose localities have paid for it and who used asset forfeiture funds. Membership was asked to email Ms. Chambers with that information.
Spring Institute Update – Shannon Weist
Staff Attorney Shannon Weist reported that CASC has 730 attendees registered for the 2015 Spring Institute. Most attendees are Commonwealth’s Attorneys or their assistants; however, CASC has almost 40 attendees from other state agencies, including the Office of the Attorney General, the Division of Legislative Services, JIRC, the Virginia State Police, DFS and the Richmond Police Department. The program is funded by registration and vendor fees. Case management vendors will be giving demonstrations on Monday evening, March 23, 2015, at 5:30 p.m. Ms. Weist reminded membership of the DFS tours to be held on Wednesday afternoon, March 25, at 1:00 p.m. An optional cigarette trafficking training is offered on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 25, 2015. That training is sponsored by Altria, the National White Collar Crime Center and the Virginia State Crime Commission.
Ms. Weist reported that the highlights of this year’s program include visits from Brian Moran, the Secretary of Public Safety, and Mark Herring, the Attorney General. Two hours of Ethics are offered on Sunday on the subject of Conflicts of Interest and Special Prosecutions. Russell Strand will present on Forensic Experiential Trauma Interviewing (FETI) during Monday’s plenary session. Ms. Weist encouraged membership to stick around for the Prosecutor’s Encyclopedia presentation to be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25.
Abbott Lab Settlement Update
Mr. Caldwell reported that the Commonwealth’s Attorneys Training Fund bills have been signed by the Governor. Starting in FY2017, CASC will be able to access up to 6% of the funds per year. He acknowledged the huge amount of hard work that went into making this happen. Ms. Parr thanked Mr. Caldwell and others for all their hard work and vision.
Abbott Lab/Asset Forfeiture Reporting Procedures – Mark Fero, Office of the Attorney General
Mark Fero from the Office of the Attorney General reviewed some answers to FAQ’s he has received relating to the reporting of Abbott Lab federal asset forfeiture funds and the proper accounting procedures to follow. He circulated supporting written materials to include a list of people to contact for further information. He confirmed that offices can use these funds for case management systems. The time limit for spending these funds is 3 years from the date of the MOU (10/24/13) unless DCJS is notified of a long-term project.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Training Fund (CATF) Appreciation Luncheon – Don Caldwell
Because of the social nature of this discussion, a motion was made, seconded and unanimously passed to move the issue of a CATF appreciation lunch to the VACA meeting agenda.
CASC Finance Committee meeting on Tuesday, March 24, 12:00- 1:30p.m., Apple Boardroom.
Mr. Wright, chairman of the CASC Finance Committee, explained that the CASC Finance Committee will meet on Tuesday, March 24, to discuss a road map for the future of the CATF. He welcomes any suggestions. Ms Parr reminded membership of the provisions in the CASC Constitution and By-laws requiring that any CATF expenditures be authorized by a 2/3 vote of Council. Any proposed expenditure must be circulated to members in writing at least 10 days before the meeting.
There being no further business before Council, the meeting adjourned at 1:33 p.m. The next regularly scheduled meeting is May 6, 2015 at 12:00 noon, at the Henrico County Sheriff’s Office Conference Room.