Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Services Council
Henrico Sheriff’s Office Conference Room
May 6, 2015
Council Members Present
Nancy G. Parr (Chesapeake), Chairman
LaBravia J. Jenkins (Fredericksburg), First Vice Chairman
Patricia T. Watson (Greensville Co./Emporia), Second Vice Chairman
Eric L. Olsen (Stafford County), Secretary
Council District Representatives:
1.James P. Fisher (Fauquier County)
2. Colin D. Stolle (Virginia Beach)
4. Theresa J. Royall (Nottoway)
6. Donald S. Caldwell (Roanoke City)
7. Shannon L. Taylor (Henrico County)
8. Bryan L. Porter (Alexandria)
Other Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Present
Anton A. Bell (Hampton)
Joel R. Branscom (Botetourt County)
Michael R. Doucette (Lynchburg)
Holly Smith (Gloucester County)
C. Phillips Ferguson (Suffolk)
Jeffrey W. Haislip (Fluvanna County)
William F. Neely (Spotsylvania County)
Theo K. Stamos (Arlington/Falls Church)
Nicole M. Price (Washington County)
James E. Plowman (Loudoun County)
Deputy & Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Present
Lori Digiosia (Stafford County)
Patrick O’Brien (Alexandria)
Jennifer Eggleston – Auditor of Public Accounts
Katherine Collins – Auditor of Public Accounts
CASC Staff Present
Jane Sherman Chambers
Call to Order
Ms. Parr called the meeting to order at 12:03 p.m.
The draft minutes from the March 22, 2015, meeting were previously posted and circulated to Council. The minutes were approved as submitted.
Ms. Chambers announced that in July the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) will be announcing grant funding for Lethality Assessment Programs (LAP). Anyone interested in developing a LAP should keep an eye out for an announcement this summer.
Spring Institute Recap
Ms. Chambers reported that the total number of registrants for Spring Institute was 734. The total cost including breakfast, speaker and staff travel, binders and all hotel costs was $78,905.39. There was discussion about the cost of providing beverages and light breakfast items. It was noted that some of the evaluations indicated that many of the attendees lack an appreciation for the costs of coffee, soft drinks etc. at the training. Members suggested that this information be communicated to the attendees in the future.
CASC Finance Committee Update
Ms. Chambers reported that the CASC Finance Committee met on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. The committee discussed several issues, including how to determine the total cost of Spring Institute (both to CASC and attendees), the need for comprehensive travel guidelines, the need for new multi-function program registration software for CASC and CASC’s equipment and office supply needs.
Homicide Program Update
Staff Attorney Larry Martin advised that the Homicide training program is being planned for November 17 - 20, 2015, in Williamsburg. Melissa Hoy from Chesterfield has agreed to take the lead on the planning committee. Bryan Porter, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Alexandria, and Scott Lang from Virginia Beach have agreed to serve as faculty.
Jennifer Eggleston of the Virginia Auditor of Public Accounts presented a summary of the recently conducted audit of CASC. She explained that the audit covered the fiscal years of 2012, 2013, 2014 (i.e. through December 2014.) Ms. Eggleston explained that there were three objectives for the audit: 1) accuracy of transactions, 2) adequacy of internal controls, and 3) compliance with grants and grant agreements. Ms. Eggleston reported three observations and recommendations: 1) to maintain better transparency related to non-federal grants – CASC already has implemented her recommendations, 2) a few individual transactions were improperly coded or were missing receipts, with some problems being associated with transitioning to the new state accounting system – again, her recommendations already are being followed, and 3) small purchase card errors were made and CASC is doing office-wide training to reinforce proper procedures. No fraudulent or controversial activity was reported or observed. CASC has been very cooperative in implementing recommended changes.
Council Vacancy – 10th District
Ms. Parr reminded Council that Alex Iden has resigned from his seat representing the 10th District because of his pending ascension to the bench. Ms. Chambers emailed all Commonwealth’s Attorneys in the 10th district to solicit volunteers to replace him. Mr. Plowman volunteered to serve as Council’s 10th district representative until the elections in August. He was elected by acclamation.
White Collar Crime Program
Ms. Chambers announced that CASC hopes to offer a White Collar Crime Training Program in Williamsburg from September 21 – 25, 2015. CASC is in the process of negotiating with the National White Collar Crime Center to assist with the preparation and implementation of this event. The format for the training will be similar to CASC’s Top Gun (Drug Cases) and Trauma to Trial (Non-Stranger Sexual Assault Cases) and will be offered to 20 prosecutor/investigator teams.
There being no further business before Council, the meeting adjourned at 12:25 p.m. The next regularly scheduled meeting is June 10, 2015, 12:00 noon, at the Henrico County Sheriff’s Office Conference Room, Richmond, Virginia.