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December 5, 2013

Hotel Roanoke

Council Members Present
Raymond F. Morrogh (Fairfax County), Chairman
Nancy G. Parr (Chesapeake), First Vice Chairman
LaBravia J. Jenkins (Fredericksburg), Second Vice Chairman
Eric Olsen (Stafford County), Secretary
Michael R. Doucette (Lynchburg), Past Chairman

Council District Representatives:
1.  LaBravia J. Jenkins (Fredericksburg)
2.   Harvey L. Bryant, III (Virginia Beach)
3.   Cassandra S. Conover (Petersburg)
4.   Wayne Famer (Isle of Wight)
5.   Denise Lunsford (Albemarle County)
6.   Donald S. Caldwell (Roanoke City)
7.   William W. Davenport (Chesterfield County)
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)
Robert B. Beasley (Powhatan County)
Nathan R. Green (Williamsburg/James City County)
Eric L. Olsen (Stafford County)
Gregory D. Underwood (Norfolk)
C. Phillips Ferguson (Suffolk)
Patricia T. Watson (Greensville County/Emporia)
Jeffrey W. Haislip (Fluvanna County)
James R. Ennis (Prince Edward County)
John C. Singleton (Bath County)
William F. Neely (Spotsylvania County)
Theo K. Stamos (Arlington County/Falls Church)
Ross P. Spicer (Frederick County)
David Grimes (Pittsylvania County)
Ed Stein (Alleghany County)
Patricia  Scales (Cumberland County)
Joan Ziglar (Martinsville)
Wayne Emery (Richmond County)
E.M. Wright (Buckingham County)
Shannon Taylor (Henrico County)
Darrel Puckett (Appomatox County)
Megan Frederick  (Culpeper County)
Keri Gusmann (King George County)
Earle Mobley (Portsmouth)
Michael Newman (Danville)
Terry Royall (Nottoway County)
Mary Pettitt (Montgomery County)
Lyndia Ramsey (Sussex County)
James Fisher (Fauquier County)
Julia Sichol (Westmoreland County)
Andrew Nester (Henry County)
Nicole Price (Washington County)
Jay C. Paul (Prince George County)
Michael Herring (Richmond)
Tracy Quackenbush Martin (Halifax County)

Deputy CA’s
Marc Abrams
Scott Vachris
Lori Galbraith
Susan Hooks
Betty Jo Anthony
Tom Shaia
Matt Glassman
Andrew Robbins
Colin Stolle (Virginia Beach – Commonwealth’s Attorney-elect)
Chris Bullard
Brian Haskins
Matt Lowery

Clay Gravely (Martinsville – Commonwealth’s Attorney-elect)

CASC Staff Present
Robert Q. Harris
Jane Sherman Chambers

Call to Order
Mr. Morrogh called the meeting to order at 3:15 p.m.

The draft minutes from the November 6, 2013, meeting were previously posted and circulated to Council.  The minutes were approved as submitted.

Chairman’s Report

Administrator’s Report
Mr. Harris reviewed the agenda items.

Old Business

Abbott Labs MOU status – After welcoming everyone to Roanoke, Mr. Caldwell reviewed the history of CASC, its goals and its budget.   He explained the history of the Abbott Lab federal asset forfeiture monies and the collective effort of Commonwealth’s Attorneys to receive a share of that settlement.  He reminded members that federal asset forfeiture monies are restricted funds that can be used only for specific and limited law enforcement purposes – primarily training and equipment.  CASC received notification from the Attorney General’s Office confirming the award of $20million.  Of this amount, $2 million will be distributed among all Commonwealth’s Attorney offices on a pro rata basis based on the number Compensation Board attorney positions.  These funds will be distributed through the Attorney General.  Each office needs to complete the simple paperwork in order to receive asset forfeiture funds.  Mr. Caldwell estimates that the pro rata share for roughly 750 attorneys will be about $2500 per position.

He further explained that CASC will invest with the State Treasurer the remaining $18 million and control use of the interest money on those funds.  With a 2% return, the interest would be approximately $360,000/year.  CASC will bear the responsibility of determining what to do with this money.  The MOU specifies that if CASC cannot fulfill its obligations under the MOU because of changes in the agency’s budget or statutory authority, Council will have the option of finding another entity to fulfill the obligations or, if that is not possible, the money will be distributed to Commonwealth’s Attorneys offices across Virginia.  Mr. Davenport asked everyone to stand and show their appreciation for the efforts to secure this funding.  Mr. Bryant asked Mr. Caldwell to explain why VCJF still needs funding.  Mr. Caldwell explained that, “It’s the 3rd leg on the table.”  He explained that the interest income likely is not enough to fulfill CASC’s obligations, and it is restricted in use because it is asset forfeiture funds.  VCJF money is not as restricted.   Mr. Harris reported that a lot of offices still need to complete the paperwork to create a federal asset forfeiture account for each office.  That is how the funds will be distributed.

Executive Program:  Mr. Harris reported that 105 people have registered for the Executive Program.  The costs are paid from registration fees.  Mr. Harris thanked Mr. Caldwell and his assistant Linda Saunders for their efforts in arranging the extra activities.  He also announced the location of VACA’s hospitality suite.

New Business

Registration fee for 2014 Spring Institute – Mr. Harris requested that Council approve a $50 registration fee for 2014 Spring Institute.  The motion was made, seconded and passed unanimously.

Search committee for hiring new Agency Administrator – Mr. Harris explained that the administrator serves at the pleasure of Council with the concurrence of the Governor.  Mr. Harris announced that Mr. Morrogh has formed a hiring committee comprised of Mr. Morrogh, Ms. Jenkins, Ms. Parr, Mr. Olsen and Mr. Green.   The committee requests that they be given the authority to make a hiring decision.  Mr. Doucette so moved.  The motion was seconded.  Mr. Olsen opened discussion about whittling the list down to 3 candidates and presenting them to the Board.  Mr. Doucette pointed out that putting it in front of entire committee would be too cumbersome and time is short.  Mr. Davenport argued in favor of the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Venue for 2015 Spring Institute – Mr. Harris reported that both the Norfolk and Richmond Marriott Hotels have availability from March 22 – 25, 2015.  Mr. Bryant moved that Spring Institute be in Richmond for 2015 and this motion was seconded by Ms. Parr.  The motion passed unanimously.

Risk Management – Bar Complaints – The Compensation Board staff asked Mr. Harris to remind Commonwealth’s Attorneys that the state risk management program covers CA’s costs in facing Bar complaints.  In response to a question, Mr. Harris stated his belief that a CA needs to go through risk management in order to have the expense covered.

Elder abuse – Mr. Harris reported that Mr. Martin and Mr. Doucette have sent out emails about gathering information about elder abuse prosecutions.

Mr. Doucette asked everyone to stand and recognize Mr. Harris for his contributions over the past 8 years.

There being no further business before Council, the meeting adjourned at 3:51 p.m.  The next regularly scheduled meeting is January 21, 2014, 11:00 a.m., at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Richmond,  Virginia.