Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Services Council
Henrico Sheriff’s Office Conference Room
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Council Members Present
Robert B. Beasley (Powhatan County)
Neil S. Vener (Campbell County)
LaBravia J. Jenkins (Fredericksburg)
Nancy G. Parr (Chesapeake)
David N. Grimes (Pittsylvania County)
Christian E. Rehak (Radford)
Michael R. Doucette (Lynchburg)
Kim S. White (Halifax County)
Robert L. Bushnell (Henry County)
Wade A. Kizer (Henrico County)
Other Commonwealth's Attorneys Present
James R. Ennis (Prince Edward County)
Nathan R. Green (Williamsburg/James City County)
Matthew J. Britton (King George County)
Patricia T. Watson (Greensville/Emporia)
James E. Plowman (Loudoun County)
Dennis L. Godfrey (Washington County)
Gary L. Close (Culpeper County)
E. M. Wright, Jr. (Buckingham County)
Joel R. Branscom (Botetourt County)
CASC Staff Present
Robert Q. Harris
Lisa O. Hillman
Lyndia O’Conell, Executive Director
Patricia A. Conwell, Vine Program Manager
Call to Order
Mr. Beasley called the meeting to order at 11:00 a.m.
Consideration of the Minutes
The draft minutes for the August 5, 2010 and August 8, 2010 meetings, previously were posted and circulated to Council. The minutes were approved as submitted.
Mr. Beasley deferred the Chairman’s report.
Mr. Harris stated that the State Fire Marshal’s Office conducts an Arson Investigation Course throughout Virginia. The State Fire Marshal is inviting prosecutors to see how arson investigations are done. The State Department of Fire Programs has offered to provide a demonstration of their new burn trailer for use in training fire marshals in arson investigations.
Mr. Harris received an email from Albany University professors concerning a study on prosecutors and plea bargains. It was agreed that CASC will be the point of contact for distributing the survey.
Mr. Harris reported that the Curriculum Committee met August 13 – 14, 2010 in Richmond. A list of the training topics for the 2010 – 2011 training schedule was distributed at the meeting. Mr. Harris stated that CASC will host several interesting programs this year. If there are any suggestions or questions, please contact Mr. Harris. The revised CASC training and events calendar has been emailed to Commonwealth’s Attorneys.
Mr. Vener inquired about the changes to Virginia Supreme Court Rule 5. Mr. Britton stated that 853 changes are listed on the Virginia Supreme Court website. Mr. Harris will look for the changes and report them to the Commonwealth’s Attorneys.
CASC Ethics Committee vacancy
Mr. Beasley stated that Council needs to fill a vacancy on the Ethics committee. Mr. Bushnell asked if there is a need to have an Ethics Committee for Council and VACA. Mr. Harris noted that both are required in the by-laws. It was unanimously approved that Ms. White would sit on Council’s Ethics Committee to fill the vacancy.
Mr. Harris stated that CASC continues to operate on a limited budget. CASC has requested a $50 registration fee for the Executive Program. The registration fee includes receiving a binder for this program. CASC is looking for a venue for the 2011 Executive Program. Members suggested several locations around the state for CASC staff to investigate.
CASC is still looking for grants to fund other training programs. At this time, there is no funding for Top Gun or Homicide. Mr. Harris welcomes suggestions to fund these programs.
CASC Travel Reimbursement Direct Deposit Option
Mr. Harris stated that direct deposit is available to Council members only. Please submit the form to CASC. Mr. Beasley asked Council members who can file a VACA travel reimbursement form to do so.
VINE Publicity Guests
Ms. O’Connell, the Executive Director for VINE explained that Victim Information Notification Everyday (VINE) came into existence in 1993 when a Jefferson County, Kentucky woman was killed by a former boyfriend who was released from jail. The Sheriff mistakenly did not notify the victim which could have prevented her death. Ms. O’Connell explained that VINE is aligned with the booking system and has the ability to notify a person when an offender is released or transferred. VINE can notify either by email or telephone. Ms. O’Connell stated that VINE contains information from over 70% of the correctional facilities in the United States and can assist the Commonwealth’s Attorneys in looking for someone who is in the system in another jurisdiction or state. Ms. O’Connell stated that when a person registers with VINE, the offender is not notified that someone is looking for them. Ms. O’Connell left a box of brochure for the Commonwealth’s Attorneys to pass out. Ms. O’Connell stated that the VINE system is only good if people are aware and use the system. Mr. Beasley invited VINE to speak at the December 2010 Executive Program.
Asset Forfeiture Workgroup
Mr. Harris stated that a workgroup is being formed to include representatives from DCJS, the Attorney General’s Office, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, and perhaps other interested parties. Mr. Harris stated the workgroup will be looking at Asset Forfeiture issues over the next year. Mr. Caldwell, Mr. Beasley, Mr. Bryant and Mr. Green were suggested as representatives.
There being no further business before Council, the meeting adjourned at 11:37 a.m. The next regularly scheduled meeting of Council is Wednesday, November 3, 2010, 11:00 a.m. at the Henrico County Sheriff’s office.