Friday was supposed to be the first day of retirement for Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane. But at the request of the state’s Criminal Justice Commission, Kane agreed to put off retirement for a month.
He’s been asked to look into why Hartford State’s Attorney Gail Hardy has not resolved five outstanding police shooting investigations.
The Hartford Courant reports that state police records show that Hardy hasn’t issued determinations for five deadly incidents from March 2008 to April 2019.
One of those open cases is the April killing of 18-year-old Anthony Jose Vega Cruz by a Wethersfield police officer.
David McGuire, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut, said it’s unconscionable to leave families in limbo waiting for the outcome of these investigations.
He told Connecticut Public Radio it’s key that prosecutors hold police accountable for misconduct and to do so in a reasonable time period.
“In some of these cases if Gail Hardy was to find that this person was in fact wrongfully killed by police, they would be precluded from bringing certain criminal charges, because the statute of limitations is blown,” McGuire said. “So this just really is unacceptable on many levels.”
McGuire said he believes the investigation should focus not only on Hardy’s role but also on the roles of Kane and the central office in allowing the cases to linger.
But McGuire commended commission chair Justice Andrew McDonald.
“In this case you have the commission asking very directly for an investigation and recommendations to be made about discipline and steps forward,” he said.
McGuire doesn’t think Kane himself should make recommendations, but rather the CJC and the new chief state’s attorney should decide how to move forward on sanctions and reform.
Kane has not commented other than to say that he has agreed to McDonald’s request.