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Sen. Fasano seeks AG Tong’s legal opinion on police accountability bill

Politics

Attorney General William Tong

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano is calling on Attorney General William Tong to provide his legal opinion on the Police Accountability bill.

Sen. Fasano said he is concerned about the wording that describes the creation of the Office of the Inspector General (IG).

In the letter, Sen. Fasano highlights three instances where he believes the bill describing the IG conflicts with wording in the state Constitution. He is asking for AG Tong’s legal opinion on the following:

  1. Clarify whether an Office of Inspector General will be independent of or within the division of criminal justice and can independently “‘prosecute any case’ in which he or she determines that an [police] officer unjustifiably used force.”
  2. Clarify if “the newly created position is appointed by the legislature rather than the Criminal Justice Commission as the state constitution may require.”
  3. Determine “what impact is there, if any, if the legislature appoints someone who is not currently a state’s attorney employed by the Department of Criminal Justice?”

“The creation of an Office of the Inspector General has strong bipartisan support and is a proposal Republicans have suggested and advocated for,” Sen. Fasano said. “I understand the proponents of this bill had the best intentions in developing this section, however the language ultimately included in the bill related to the creation of the Inspector General was rushed and contains elements that conflict with the state Constitution.”

The bill passed in the House Friday morning after an overnight debate. The main topic at hand was the part of the bill that would remove qualified immunity for police officers. A Republican amendment that would have eliminated the removal of qualified immunity failed in a tie.

The bill will go to the Senate on Tuesday.

Web Extra: Read Sen. Fasano’s letter to AG Tong:

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