Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Services Council
Henrico Sheriff’s Office Conference Room
September 21, 2016
Council Members Present
Eric L. Olsen (Stafford County), Chairman
Patricia T. Watson (Greensville Co./Emporia), First Vice Chairman
Jeffrey W. Haislip (Fluvanna County), Secretary
LaBravia J. Jenkins (Fredericksburg), Past Chairman
Council District Representatives:1. LaBravia J. Jenkins (Fredericksburg)
3. Georgette C. Phillips (Isle of Wight)
6. Donald S. Caldwell (Roanoke City)
7. Travis D. Bird (Spotsylvania County)
8. Theo K. Stamos (Arlington County/Falls Church)
10. Marc H. Abrams (Winchester)
11. Raymond F. Morrogh (Fairfax County)
Other Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Present
Paul B. Ebert (Prince William County)
Michael R. Doucette (Lynchburg)
John L. Mahoney (Caroline County)
Anton A. Bell (Hampton)
William B. Bray (Colonial Heights)
Darrel W. Puckett (Appomattox County)
David L. Ledbetter (Waynesboro)
Theresa J. Royall (Nottoway County)
James E. Plowman (Loudoun County)
Ross P. Spicer (Frederick County)
Susan Fierro (Prince George County)
Ann Baskervill (Dinwiddie County)
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorneys Present
Mike Feinmel (Henrico County)
Marie Walls (Suffolk)
CASC Staff Present
Jane Sherman Chambers
Call to Order
Mr. Olsen called the meeting to order at 12:00 Noon.
The draft minutes from the August 4, 2016 and August 7, 2016, meeting were previously posted and circulated to Council. The minutes were approved as submitted.
Ms. Chambers reviewed the agenda items:
Curriculum Retreat Update
Ms. Chambers reported that the Curriculum Committee met last Thursday and Friday and prepared draft agendas for the 2016 Executive Program, the 2017 Spring Institute and the 2017 Summer Conference. These draft agendas were circulated with the Council meeting agenda. Mr. Olsen explained that the committee attempted to meet the needs of both newer and more experienced prosecutors. He reported that the 2016 Executive Program will run all day Friday, December 2, and a half day on Saturday, December 3. The committee wanted to plan something especially interesting on Saturday morning to encourage people to stay over Friday night. He has lined up Bob McCulloch, the prosecutor from Ferguson, Missouri. Mr. Olsen also reported that he intends to build in time for committee meetings at each of these 3 major CASC programs.
Ms. Chambers reviewed the CATF balance statement. Since the main expenditure from CATF will be covering the expenses for the Spring Institute, Ms. DeBord reported on the reimbursement process that CASC will be using. Reimbursements will be limited to state per diem amounts. A standardized reimbursement form must be completed by each office within 30 days. The initial step will be CASC circulating a survey within the next few weeks, asking for each office to: 1) submit a the name and email address of their designated contact person, and 2) identify the number of people in the office who will be attending Spring Institute. Ms. Chambers further explained that travel reimbursements will be very expensive, so CASC will be requiring that, in order to be reimbursed for mileage and parking, attendees from offices with more than 1 person must carpool with a minimum of 2 people per car. Ms. Chambers noted that the hotel per diem in Richmond was unexpectedly raised by $21/night effective October 1, requiring savings elsewhere. After much discussion about carpooling, it was agreed that attendees who chose not to carpool will cover their own mileage and parking expenses.
CASC Finance Committee Update
Mr. Olsen reported that the Finance Committee chairman, Mr. Wright, was in court and unable to attend the meeting. Instead, Mr. Olsen read an emailed report drafted by Mr. Wright, dated September 20, 2016. Mr. Wright recommended that CASC seek the same appropriation as in FY2017. At this point, that figure represents less than 6% of the CATF balance, which is the maximum amount that can be requested. He also noted that the funds continue to earn interest until they are spent and there is no requirement to spend the full amount appropriated. Ms. Stamos made a motion to follow Mr. Wright’s recommendation. The motion was seconded and unanimously passed.
2019 Spring Institute Venue
Ms. Chambers reported that both she and Mr. Casey have searched for venues that can accommodate Spring Institute at a price that CASC can afford and that would be in within a comfortable walking distance of restaurants and places of interest. They did not find any additional possible venues, although one was suggested by Mr. Plowman. Mr. Olsen suggested a site visit. The matter was deferred to the next meeting.
Council Vacancies – 2nd and 4th Districts
Mr. Stolle previously made known to Council that he intended to vacate his 2nd district seat on Council while maintaining his 2nd district seat on the VACA board. Mr. Green was nominated for the 2nd district and Ms. Baskervill was nominated for the 4th district. No additional nominations were received. Mr. Morrogh moved these nominations and his motion was seconded and unanimously passed.
Mandatory 5% Budget Cuts for FY2017
Ms. Chambers reported that all state agencies were required to submit 5% proposed budget savings by close of business yesterday. Mr. Olsen reported that he had heard from Mr. Stolle that cuts may be even worse next year.
CASC’s New W&M Law School Graduate Research Fellow
Ms. Chambers reported that the W&M Law School has generously supplied CASC with a graduate research fellow. He will assist with programs, research projects, etc. He already helped edit VACA’s new Ethics Manual. Ms. Chambers advised that he also will be available to assist Commonwealth’s Attorneys.
NAAGTRI – Responding to Officer-involved Shootings (OIS)
Mr. Olsen reported that several Commonwealth’s Attorneys attended an OIS training put on by the National Association of Attorneys General Training and Research Institute (NAAGTRI). They reported that it was excellent and encouraged the Virginia Attorney General’s office to bring that training to Virginia. NAAGTRI generously has offered to provide the training as a 1.5 day track at the 2017 Spring Institute. Attendance will be limited to Commonwealth’s Attorneys, Chiefs of Police, Sheriff’s and City/County Attorneys. The Virginia Attorney General’s Office will help organize the event.
There being no further business before Council, the meeting adjourned at 1:01 p.m. The next regularly scheduled meeting is November 9, 2016, 12:00 noon, at the Henrico County Sheriff’s Office Conference Room.