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January 26, 2021

COVID-19 State of Emergency – Zoom Meeting


Council Members Present

Colin D. Stolle (Virginia Beach), Chairman
Nathan R. Green (James City County/Williamsburg), First Vice Chairman
Shannon L. Taylor (Henrico County), Second Vice Chairman
Anton A. Bell (Hampton), Secretary

Council District Representatives:
1. Julia H. Sichol (Westmoreland County)
3. Georgette C. Phillips (Isle of Wight)
4. A. Gray Collins, III (Colonial Heights)
9. Charles H. Slemp, III (Wise County)
10. Amy M. Ashworth (Prince William County)
11. Steve Descano (Fairfax County)

Other Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Present
Donald S. Caldwell (Roanoke City)
E. M. Wright (Buckingham County)
Eric L. Olsen (Stafford County)
Gregory D. Underwood (Norfolk)
C. Phillips Ferguson (Suffolk)
Susan O. Fierro (Prince George County)
Tracy Q. Martin (Halifax County)
R. Bryan Haskins (Pittsylvania County)
Marsha L. Garst (Rockingham County/Harrisonburg)
John Alexander (Botetourt County)
Parisa Dehghani-Tafti (Arlington County/Falls Church)
Gerald D. Arrington (Buchanan County)
Christian E. Rehak (Radford)
Anne M. Williams (Clarke County)
Marc H. Abrams (Winchester)
Matt Kite (King William County)
Trip Chalkley (Hanover County)
Jim Hingeley (Albemarle County)
Andrew Nester (Henry County)
Mike Newman (Danville)
Dan Fellhauer (Scott County)
Bethany Harrison (Lynchburg)
Daniel Rutherford (Nelson County)
Win Consolvo (Greene County)
Stacey Davenport (Chesterfield County)
Fuller Cridlin (Lee County)

Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorneys Present
Megan Zwisohn (Gloucester County)
Lori DiGiosia (Stafford)
Cathy Black (James City County/Williamsburg)
Ramin Fatehi (Norfolk)
D. J. Hansen (Chesapeake)
Matt Lowery (Fairfax County)

CASC Staff Present
Jane Sherman Chambers
Elliott Casey
Nancy Oglesby
Jake Lambert

VACA Staff Present
Amanda Howie, Administrator
Molly Brown

Call to Order
Mr. Stolle called the meeting to order at 11:15 a.m.

The draft minutes from the December 2, 2020, meeting were previously posted and circulated to Council. The minutes were approved as submitted.

Chairman’s Report

Administrator’s Report
Ms. Chambers reported that staff attorney Larry Martin retired effective December 31, 2020. The good news is that he will return as an hourly part-time employee on February 1, 2021. He will continue to produce the Weekly Update, assist with website maintenance, and provide staffing for CASC training programs, as needed. Ms. Chambers also announced that CASC has hired Jimmy Entas as the new CASC Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor. He comes to CASC with over 25 years experience in prosecution and criminal justice.

Old Business

CATF Update
Ms. Chambers reviewed the CATF balance sheet reflecting account activity through December 31, 2020.

CASC Finance Committee Update
Mr. Wright reported that the CASC Finance Committee met on December 17, 2020. The committee decided to stay the course on the annual appropriation request of 6%. The committee also discussed possible long-term uses of the funds. There will be an additional meeting to discuss long-term goals. This meeting will be held in conjunction with the VACA Executive Committee Retreat in May.

2021 Spring Institute Update
Ms. Chambers reminded membership that the decision was made at the last meeting to hold the 2021 Spring Institute online. She circulated a draft of the streamlined Spring Institute agenda with the Council meeting agenda.

New Business

CASC Tentative “Fall Institute”
Ms. Chambers also reminded members that at the last meeting there was discussion about creating a “Fall Institute” to incorporate the remaining portions of the original 2021 Spring Institute agenda. It would also provide an opportunity for people to be together again for training. Ms. Chambers requested guidance from Council about whether membership is ready for CASC to commit to a live event. After some discussion, it was decided that this issue should be placed on the February Council agenda when we hope to have a better idea of where COVID-19 vaccinations stand.

CASC By-laws and Ethics Committee
Mr. Stolle reported that he met with Ms. Chambers and Ms. Howie to review committees and their membership. He asked if anyone could remember the purpose of the CASC By-laws Committee. No one knew what this committee’s purpose was supposed to be, so the committee was dissolved. Mr. Stolle reviewed the list of members of the CASC Standing Committee on Ethics. He encouraged this committee to meet to discuss taking a more active role in planning CASC ethics training.

2023 Executive Program Agenda
Ms. Chambers asked for requests for venues for the 2023 Executive Program. She reported that the 2021 Executive Program will be in Charlottesville and 2022 will be in Staunton. Several people suggested Roanoke, since the live 2020 Roanoke Executive Program had been cancelled because of COVID- 19. Ms. Chambers responded that she would look into this further.

Update of “Duties & Responsibilities of Commonwealth’s Attorneys” Outline
Ms. Chambers reported that the “Duties & Responsibilities” outline is in need of updating. She has started to investigate hiring an individual to take on this project as an independent contractor. Ms. Martin contributed that she and Robert Bauer already have started re-organizing the material in this outline and hopes that this work will be incorporated. Ms. Chambers suggested that a special committee be formed to shepherd this project through. Mr. Stolle formed the committee and appointed Ms. Martin, Mr. Bauer, Ms. Biberaj and Ms. Chambers to serve. He also asked for other interested individuals to email him about membership.

Phone Attendees
Ms. Chambers asked that any individuals participating in the meeting by phone to please let her know by email.

Public Comment

There being no further business before Council, the meeting adjourned at 11:45 a.m. The next regularly scheduled meeting is February 16, 2021, 11:00 a.m., via Zoom.