Legislature(1997 - 1998)

02/18/1998 01:41 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
              SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE                                       
                  February 18, 1998                                            
                      1:41 p.m.                                                
                                                                               
                                                                               
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                
                                                                               
Senator Robin Taylor, Chairman                                                 
Senator Drue Pearce, Vice-Chairman                                             
Senator Mike Miller                                                            
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                           
                                                                               
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                 
                                                                               
Senator Sean Parnell                                                           
                                                                               
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                             
                                                                               
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 29                                                 
Proposing amendments to the Constitution of the State of Alaska                
requiring that the provisions of a bill that levy new state taxes              
require the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the                     
membership of each house of the legislature.                                   
                                                                               
     - MOVED SJR 29 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                           
                                                                               
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 274(JUD)                                                
"An Act relating to fees for probation and parole."                            
                                                                               
     - MOVED CSSB 274(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                    
                                                                               
PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                               
                                                                               
SJR 29 - See Senate Judiciary Committee minutes dated 4/28/97.                 
                                                                               
SB 274 - No previous action to record.                                         
                                                                               
WITNESS REGISTER                                                               
                                                                               
Mr. Ralph Bennett                                                              
Staff to Senator Robin Taylor                                                  
State Capitol                                                                  
Juneau, Ak 99801-1182                                                          
   POSITION STATEMENT: Presented SJR 29                                        
                                                                               
Senator Jerry Ward                                                             
State Capitol                                                                  
Juneau, Ak 99801-1182                                                          
   POSITION STATEMENT: Presented SB 274                                        
                                                                               
Mr. Craig Johnson                                                              
Staff to Senator Jerry Ward                                                    
State Capitol                                                                  
Juneau, Ak 99801-1182                                                          
   POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 274                                     
                                                                               
Mr. Blair McCune                                                               
Alaska Public Defender                                                         
900 West 5th Street #200                                                       
Anchorage, Ak 99501                                                            
   POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 274                                     
                                                                               
Ms. Lynda Zaugg                                                                
Department of Corrections                                                      
4500 Diplomacy Drive                                                           
Anchorage, Ak 99510                                                            
   POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 274                                     
                                                                               
Mr. Jim Frey                                                                   
SR Box 360                                                                     
Gakona, Ak 99586                                                               
   POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 274                                     
                                                                               
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                               
                                                                               
TAPE 98-10, SIDE A                                                             
Number 001                                                                     
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN ROBIN TAYLOR called the Judiciary Committee meeting to                
order at 1:41 p.m. and noted the presence of SENATOR MILLER and                
SENATOR ELLIS. The first order of business was SJR 29.                         
        SJR 29 - CONST AM: SUPERMAJORITY FOR TAX LEVIES                        
                                                                               
                                                                               
MR. RALPH BENNETT, staff to SENATOR TAYLOR, came forward to present            
SJR 29. He explained SJR 29 as a constitutional amendment requiring            
a two-thirds vote of the legislature before any new tax could be               
imposed. Judging from the number of tax proposals presented to the             
Twentieth Alaska Legislature, he stated the day is approaching when            
new taxes will be given serious consideration. This amendment, if              
adopted by the voters, would assure wide support for any new state             
tax.                                                                           
                                                                               
SENATOR MILLER moved SJR 29 from committee with individual                     
recommendations. Without objection, it was so ordered.                         
               SB 274 - PROBATION AND PAROLE FEES                              
                                                                               
SENATOR JERRY WARD, sponsor of SB 274, said this bill sets up a                
procedure for parolees to pay their debt to society. He suggested              
that this legislation puts responsibility back onto those people               
causing the problem. He commented there are 4,600 people on                    
probation and parole currently and calculated that if each of these            
people paid $3.30 per day it would generate 5.5 million dollars. He            
said also the state needs to look at options to deal with prison               
overcrowding. He noted currently there is a request for proposal               
out to send more prisoners out of state. He emphasized that it is              
not the citizens' fault that people commit crimes and this bill                
will create a mechanism that will have criminals pay their debt to             
society. SENATOR WARD said the bill contains a provision for people            
who cannot afford to pay the $3.30. This provision says those who              
are incapable of paying will have their permanent fund dividend                
(PFD) garnished. He said the fee equals the amount of the dividend             
and the bill was written that way purposefully. SENATOR WARD                   
commented that the citizens should not bear the burden of the cost             
of incarceration for law breakers, the criminals themselves should             
bear the cost. He said this is not a large cost and those who do               
not comply will have their permanent fund dividends attached. He               
stated  this bill is a proper thing to be considered in light of               
the current tight financial situation faced by the state.                      
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS asked if SENATOR WARD knew how long ago a previous               
fee was repealed. SENATOR WARD replied it was 1984, when he served             
in the legislature.                                                            
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS asked why he had picked a fee four times larger than             
the national average. SENATOR WARD replied he chose the amount to              
be roughly equal to the amount of the permanent fund dividend.                 
                                                                               
MR. CRAIG JOHNSON explained the amendment they had brought. MR.                
JOHNSON said the amendment was brought forward by the permanent                
fund division itself, and merely codifies the fact that garnishment            
of a PFD for the purpose of this bill will not take precedence over            
reparations for victims of domestic violence. He said this was                 
suggested by the Attorney General and is a technical amendment.                
                                                                               
SENATOR MILLER moved the adoption of amendment #1. Without                     
objection, it was so ordered.                                                  
                                                                               
MR. BLAIR MCCUNE, representing the Public Defenders Office,                    
expressed some concerns about the bill. He worried that payment of             
fees might be required as a condition of parole or probation. His              
office represents people in parole and probation revocation                    
proceedings and he is concerned that caseloads might increase under            
this bill. He referred to criminal rule number 39 and rule number              
209 of appellate procedure and said these rules require recoupment             
of costs for appointed counsel. MR. MCCUNE said these rules allow              
for a judgment to be entered in a civil action, including the                  
garnishment of a dividend, rather than the revocation of the                   
individual's probation or parole. MR. MCCUNE was further concerned             
that this bill might apply to misdemeanor probation which is                   
generally unsupervised by a probation officer. He suggested the                
costs lie in supervised, felony probation. Lastly, MR. MCCUNE                  
mentioned section 7 which reads; "the board shall revoke parole";              
he believes it would be better to leave the board with more                    
flexibility and not mandate the revocation of parole. MR. MCCUNE               
also noted that the asterisk fiscal note was the result of the                 
possibility of  his office encountering more probation and parole              
revocation hearings.                                                           
                                                                               
SENATOR WARD remarked it was quite specific in the bill that it was            
those who are able to pay and choose not to who would be sent back             
to jail. He stated this is a revenue generating bill which, if                 
enacted, will generate 5.5 million dollars, roughly the cost of                
sending 250-300 people out of state to Arizona. He emphasized this             
is where criminals pay for what they are costing the state. He                 
continued, restating that this is a revenue generating bill and the            
yearly  fee exactly equals a permanent fund dividend. He said, even            
so, it is not that much and only equals three quarters of an hour              
of work each day at minimum wage. He concluded that this revenue               
would free up money for education and other important state                    
expenses.                                                                      
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR asked BLAIR MCCUNE about the automatic revocation              
of parole and noted that under section 3 the only amendment is to              
add to discretionary items that the judge may impose. CHAIRMAN                 
TAYLOR said it reads; "may be required to pay"  and so is                      
discretionary and would require many steps to revoke parole. He                
does not see it as a mandate and inquired if MR. MCCUNE did.  MR.              
MCCUNE replied he was looking at section 4 that says "shall require            
the periodic probation fee to be paid." He said he understands the             
court can decide conditions of probation/parole but it appears to              
him, due to section 4, that this is a required condition. His                  
concern is that a person who is unable to pay will have their                  
parole automatically revoked. He is worried about a case where the             
parole board will not have the discretion to give someone another              
chance.                                                                        
                                                                               
MS. LYNDA ZAUGG, representing the Department of Corrections,                   
informed the committee that the department does not disagree with              
the concept of SB 274, but that there is concern with the fiscal               
impact.  MS. ZAUGG explained the issue is complicated. In the late             
1980's these fees existed and there was great difficulty collecting            
them. According to MS. ZAUGG, only ten per cent out of 3,000 were              
able to pay their monthly fees. She said the department is looking             
at the current population of 4,100 active parole cases and their               
potential for payment. MS. ZAUGG stated that in the 80's offenders             
were allowed to perform community work service in lieu of their                
monthly fee. This is not an option under SENATOR WARD'S bill.  She             
said these factors make it difficult to predict how much would                 
actually be collected under this bill. MS. ZAUGG said the fee was              
repealed in 1989 primarily because it was a hardship to offenders,             
particularly those in rural areas without a strong cash economy.               
She mentioned that the bill does take into consideration indigence             
but requires hearings to determine if an offender is indigent.                 
These hearings will be a costly, time consuming process, again,                
especially for offenders in rural areas. She said the fees under               
this bill are much higher than the old fees and considerably higher            
than anywhere else in the nation. MS. ZAUGG said this bill allows              
for probation to be revoked in cases where the fee is not paid and             
this will result in probationers returning to an expensive                     
institutional setting. She asserted that this bill requires the                
revocation of parole by the parole board unless the parolee shows              
by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she is unable to pay.            
According to MS. ZAUGG, this does not apply if the offender is                 
indigent; however, in 1989 in Representative Foster's district, 99             
per cent of offenders were unable to pay the fee. She cited this as            
a major factor in the repeal of that fee. She explained that though            
the bill allows for the garnishment of a PFD, the fee falls ninth              
in line to those debts that might already bind an offenders PFD.               
She noted there are currently 4,100 people under active supervision            
and more than 50 per cent of them have been under supervision for              
more than one year. She said the importance of this is that a felon            
who has been incarcerated at any time during a year is not eligible            
for the dividend. MS. ZAUGG concluded the pool of offenders with a             
PFD available for attachment is smaller than meets the eye.                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR asked if a levy against the permanent fund dividend            
was utilized in order to collect fees previously and MS. ZAUGG said            
that was discussed at the time but was not sure if it was done.                
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR stated it was not part of that bill.                           
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS asked if other agencies that might be impacted had               
been contacted about this bill.                                                
                                                                               
SENATOR WARD said part of the problem historically had been                    
collection of the fee and that was why his bill has a third-party              
collection provision into it. He stated this would help relieve the            
burden on staff, who should not function as a collection agency.               
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS asked MS. ZAUGG if that meant there would not be any             
staff time necessary for the Department to implement this bill. MS.            
ZAUGG responded that it appears there would be time involved but               
the amount of time is unclear.                                                 
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS inquired about the process of proving indigence. He              
asked who is required to prove what and if the whole thing is                  
difficult to sort out. LYNDA ZAUGG replied it is always difficult              
when dealing with an offender expected to provide information on               
his or her financial situation. She said in this situation people              
may be resistant to providing information and a fairly elaborate               
process might be necessary, such is as used in the court system.               
                                                                               
MR. JIM FREY, on teleconference from Slana, said he did not have a             
copy of the bill and therefore would not comment. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR              
explained basically what the bill would do and MR. FREY replied                
that he thought those people didn't have any money. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR            
then explained the provision made for those unable to pay and MR.              
FREY said he'd agree with that.                                                
                                                                               
SENATOR WARD asked Ms. ZAUGG about the number of people on                     
probation and parole. He had 4,600 versus her 4,100 and wanted to              
know what happened to the other 500 people. MS. ZAUGG replied that             
4,100 represents the number of active cases; she estimated there               
are 600 outstanding warrants across the state. She said these                  
people have absconded probation and will have people active in                 
their case once they are rearrested.                                           
                                                                               
SENATOR MILLER moved SB 274 as amended out of committee with                   
individual recommendations. Without objection, it was so ordered.              
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR announced that MR. GUANELI was present today to                
respond to the subpoenas issued by the committee. MR. GUANELI                  
agreed and thanked the committee on behalf of Commissioners Pugh               
and Otte, as well as Attorney General Bothelo for the extra week to            
gather the information and deliver it to Mr. Norsworthy. MR.                   
GUANELI, representing the Department of Law, said he was here to               
inform the committee what has been provided, what has not been                 
provided and why. He said the Department of Law has provided the               
following:                                                                     
                                                                               
     22 case files from the office of the Special Prosecutor                   
regarding the cases investigated by the Alaska State Troopers,                 
     one general file of correspondence and notes from the same                
office,                                                                        
      and one file from MR. GUANELI's office of memoranda, notes               
and papers.                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. GUANELI stated the department has not asserted attorney/client             
privilege nor any other privilege in respect to any of that                    
material. Everything in their possession has been turned over,                 
according to MR. GUANELI. He stated that he personally reviewed all            
the documents turned over by all departments to ensure they had                
received all the relevant information and that all offices had been            
responsive to the subpoena.                                                    
                                                                               
MR. GUANELI reported the Department of Corrections has turned over             
the following:                                                                 
                                                                               
     one file from the Commissioner's office that had been                     
previously reviewed by Mr. Norsworthy,                                         
     one small file from the office of the Director of                         
Institutions,                                                                  
     and one small file from the office of the Director of                     
Community Corrections.                                                         
                                                                               
MR. GUANELI said these last two divisions were those with employees            
involved with the improper accesses of APSIN. He also said those               
small files contained some personnel records which were segregated.            
He confirmed that the remainder of the files, including notes, E-              
mail, and memoranda have been turned over.                                     
                                                                               
Additionally, there were personnel files involving a number of                 
employees, kept both in the central office of the department and in            
offices within each division, that are still in the Department of              
Corrections' Anchorage office. MR. GUANELI observed these records              
require special handling. He remarked that administrative                      
regulations dictate that not only a subpoena but a written                     
confidentiality agreement is required for access to personnel                  
files. He said he and Mr. Norsworthy are still in discussion about             
that but there was an agreement that those records would not be                
turned over until an agreement had been worked out. Therefore,                 
those personnel files and the other portions of files relating to              
personnel records remain in the anchorage office but are ready to              
be turned over whenever the agreement is reached.                              
                                                                               
MR. GUANELI listed further records turned over by the Department of            
Public Safety including:                                                       
                                                                               
     two large binders from the Commissioner's office in Juneau,               
along with a variety of miscellaneous papers relating to phone                 
logs, e-mails, correspondence and certain spreadsheets involved in             
the audit,                                                                     
     two large binders from the APSIN office of the Anchorage                  
location of the department including audit records,                            
     and other miscellaneous files also dealing with the audit                 
including inquiries made to the agency, responses to these                     
inquiries, memos and policies.                                                 
                                                                               
From the State Troopers, MR. GUANELI said, information has been                
turned over including:                                                         
                                                                               
     one box containing investigative files including reports and              
transcripts on 22 investigations,                                              
     one box of notes, trooper notebooks and internal memos (some              
notations relating to other cases have been blacked out),                      
     one box of the actual cassette tapes that were transcribed,               
     and the office has retained personnel files related to the                
investigation that are available to be turned over upon agreement.             
                                                                               
MR. GUANELI showed the committee a digital photo that had been                 
electronically transmitted to him from Anchorage. He noted all the             
contents were clearly labeled in the common State Trooper fashion.             
He estimated there to be roughly five bankers boxes worth of                   
material covering primarily the investigations and the audit. MR.              
GUANELI guessed the personnel records would constitute another full            
bankers box. He noted that he did, in fact, request the subpoenas,             
as it was his understanding that this was the proper way to                    
transmit the documents to the committee. It was his office's view              
that many of these records are confidential by statute.  Regarding             
these records, MR. GUANELI repeated that the subpoenas issued                  
followed  the proper procedure and he thanked the committee once               
again for the additional time to procure the records.                          
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR reminded MR. GUANELI that he was under oath from a             
previous swearing in. He asked for a formal authentication of the              
records, for the record, asking if the records conveyed to the                 
committee were kept in the normal course of business. MR. GUANELI              
acknowledged that the records were kept in the normal course of                
business and added a diligent search was made of each agency for               
those files and they were reviewed and properly segregated from                
what the department determined to be personnel records.                        
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR detailed his question, asking if all records,                  
ranging from notes and memos to investigative reports and                      
interviews were all done in the process of carrying out these                  
functions of these departments in investigating the questions that             
arose from the unauthorized use of APSIN. MR. GUANELI affirmed that            
this was correct.                                                              
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR, understanding the delicate nature of these                    
documents (some of which may carry confidentiality requirements),              
asked MR. GUANELI if, as an attorney, he felt the committee had                
different obligations under the statutes, regarding disclosure,                
than the Executive Branch. MR. GUANELI replied he was unable to                
provide legal advice to the committee as they had already retained             
separate counsel in the person of Mr. Norsworthy in addition to                
Legislative counsel. He said, however, in his view the committee               
stands in the shoes of the executive branch now that these                     
documents have been conveyed. He suggested that some thought ought             
to be given to the use and dissemination of that material. CHAIRMAN            
TAYLOR said he understands this point and was simply being generic             
in his question. He expressed his belief that the Alaska Statutes              
protecting confidentiality are just as binding on the legislative              
branch as the executive. MR. GUANELI agreed.                                   
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR asked why it is necessary for the members of the               
committee or its chair to sign an agreement not to violate those               
state laws. MR. GUANELI replied that there is an administrative                
regulation carrying the force of law that requires it. He said they            
feel bound by that procedure.                                                  
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR indicated that no one on the committee would have              
a problem with that, as they all understand the confidential nature            
of this material. He said he had asked Mr. Norsworthy to draft the             
agreement in as limited a fashion as possible and he intended to               
get a copy of that to everyone as soon as possible to expedite this            
proceeding.                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR asked MR. GUANELI if the incidents involving the               
mayor of Wasilla, her husband, and her finance director were                   
included in the 22 case files that had been discussed. MR. GUANELI             
believed that this matter was included but did not have a list of              
those particular incidents at hand.                                            
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR asked if those victims were notified what had                  
happened in that case. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR said the mayor had brought              
a complaint to the State Troopers and he wondered if anyone had                
contacted her and informed her that prosecution had been declined              
in that case. MR. GUANELI did not know, but assured CHAIRMAN TAYLOR            
he would inquire of Commissioner Otte.                                         
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR stated, for the record, that the subpoenas are                 
still in force as concerns those parties, but until the committee              
had an opportunity to review the information, they would not be in             
a position to ask any questions. He thanked MR. GUANELI for his                
cooperation and that of the Commissioners involved, and promised he            
would get that letter to MR. GUANELI as fast as possible in order              
that they might review those other records also.                               
                                                                               
TAPE 98-10, SIDE B                                                             
Number 001                                                                     
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS protested the committee moving forward with this. He             
refused to sign the letter requesting subpoena powers and objected             
to the motion to seek those powers when it was made in committee.              
SENATOR ELLIS maintained that the State Troopers spent 900 staff               
hours so far on the APSIN cases and everyone involved, as far as he            
knows, believed it to be a thorough investigation. SENATOR ELLIS               
cited a newspaper article in which CHAIRMAN TAYLOR complained of               
the slowness of the investigation; SENATOR ELLIS said he had                   
learned the work would have been completed earlier had the                     
investigation not been interrupted by the necessity of reassigning             
two investigators to homicide cases over the summer. SENATOR ELLIS             
said that troopers who might otherwise have been working on                    
homicides were instead occupied with the APSIN case. He said this              
not to minimize the seriousness the troopers assigned to the APSIN             
investigation, but to emphasize the scarcity of their resources. He            
recounted a story of a family friend whose daughter had been                   
brutally murdered a number of years ago and was told by the                    
troopers in the last two years that they were unable to make the               
progress they had hoped due to a lack of resources. SENATOR ELLIS              
did not propose any direct connection between these two incidents,             
but only meant to emphasize the lack of resources available in that            
department. He remarked that this troubled him, especially after               
learning that investigators had been reassigned back and forth                 
between homicides and the APSIN investigation.                                 
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS asked if, in addition to Mr. Norsworthy, there was               
another person involved on an open-ended contract in this inquiry,             
as well as the committee staff. He noted the widespread concern                
over falling oil prices and commented that the $7,500 already spent            
and the obligation of an open-ended contract should be understood              
by everyone involved. He remarked that legislators have been kept              
fully apprised of the troopers' investigation and he cannot think              
of this as anything more than second-guessing the troopers and the             
Department of Law who determined that there were zero violations               
and nothing to prosecute. SENATOR ELLIS surmised the committee is              
seeking this information to second-guess that decision and see if              
they think, as legislators, there were criminal violations that                
should be prosecuted.                                                          
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS did not find the photo presented by MR. GUANELI                  
amusing. He observed that someone spent the time necessary to                  
organize and prepare this material, which he said was turned over              
just about as soon as it was asked for. He has difficulty seeing               
where this will lead and he concluded by asking CHAIRMAN TAYLOR how            
he was planning to proceed. He asked if there was a time frame for             
Mr. Norsworthy, if there was a limit on the number of people who               
would be brought in, and if there were security measures in place              
to deal with the information transmitted.                                      
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR replied that the matter was raised during the                  
election in 1996 when complaints were brought by citizens and                  
candidates to the State Troopers. He noted that today is February              
1998 and asked why someone chose to take the amount of time they               
did to investigate this. He stated the investigation was only                  
concluded as of a few days ago when, because of the subpoena issued            
from the committee, someone decided they must conclude the review              
of whether or not they were going to prosecute. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR                
said the information he had indicated that, until this point, they             
had only reviewed eight of the 26 cases that went to their                     
department, leaving them with eighteen cases that had not yet been             
reviewed. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR noted that, miraculously, that review has            
since been concluded in a few days. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR reflected that             
someone had taken a lot of time to show that no offenses had been              
committed and yet literally hundreds of thousands of dollars have              
now been spent in the investigation by the Department of Law of                
something that was apparently not criminal. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR stated             
that he did not motivate this investigation, nor did the judiciary             
committee. He stated the investigation was motivated by citizens               
whose rights to privacy had been grossly invaded. He said that the             
last time this occurred,  an employee was terminated and that had              
not yet happened in this case.                                                 
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR said that this spontaneous outbreak of curiosity               
was of such proportions as to require the inclusion of funds in the            
Governor's budget to revamp APSIN. Major policy has been changed               
within the department, manuals rewritten and new user agreements               
have been created due to this, according to CHAIRMAN TAYLOR. He                
believes the committee's purpose is to find out fully what                     
happened; so if necessary, they may pass legislation to correct the            
problem.  CHAIRMAN TAYLOR said in the past incident the legislature            
had passed legislation and was assured it was sufficient to bring              
criminal charges in any future case of unauthorized access.                    
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR suggested reading the language of the law which                
defines unauthorized access as an unauthorized purpose and is                  
against the law. He has not yet seen the interpretation of the                 
Department of Law that entry into the system due to curiosity is               
not a violation of the law. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR does not read the law              
that way and remarked that if it is necessary to rewrite it in such            
a fashion that in the future people will be fired and prosecuted,              
the committee needs to know that. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR stated it is not             
just politicians and legislators but citizens whose privacy rights             
are being violated by State of Alaska employees. He said if the                
laws are ineptly drawn and do not allow prosecution of these                   
people, they need to be changed. He said he is looking for an                  
affirmative solution and there should be a very good explanation as            
to what went wrong and allowed this, and what is still wrong that              
will tolerate it. He restated that no one has lost a job.                      
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS asked if the Chairman did not believe that an                    
adequate explanation had been given in the joint hearing held last             
year. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR replied that they had been told at that                  
hearing the investigation was not complete and the department                  
offered to undertake one at that time.                                         
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS responded that the plan was laid out and the                     
legislature had been apprised of their progress. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR               
replied that he had not seen an appraisal since the last hearing.              
SENATOR ELLIS thought it had been sent to the President and the                
Speaker and CHAIRMAN TAYLOR replied the last document arrived the              
16th of February and he had heard nothing prior since last May. He             
said he thinks this is a major problem which may take legislation              
to fix and this is the committee to do it in order to make certain             
this does not happen to other people in the future.                            
                                                                               
SENATOR PEARCE added she believed the reasons to proceed were the              
fact that unauthorized access should be as clear as black and white            
and does not appear to be so. She commented they had been told                 
there were different levels of curiosity and she was curious                   
herself to examine these levels of curiosity and see which results             
in what. She said if it is true that someone got a promotion as a              
result of a certain type of curiosity, she'd be very interested in             
that. From a financial standpoint, SENATOR PEARCE said if they find            
that people were disciplined by the loss of their APSIN access                 
privileges, rendering them unable to do their job, were allowed to             
come to work and be paid for no service to the state, this is a                
misuse of funds and she wants to be aware of it. She stated this               
discipline is no discipline at all and, if this is true, it should             
come out. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR said hopefully this would be in the files            
and, once the agreement was signed with MR. GUANELI, they could                
proceed. He mentioned that much of this will have to take place in             
executive session and access to it will have to be carefully                   
monitored. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR said he would circulate a copy of the               
letter to the committee so they could move on.                                 
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS asked why last year this was a joint effort with the             
House Judiciary Committee and now they were proceeding alone.                  
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR replied it would be simpler and easier to sit down             
with a small group of people.                                                  
                                                                               
SENATOR ELLIS asked if he should assume that the entire session                
would be the time frame in which they would continue to work on                
this issue. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR assured SENATOR ELLIS that he hoped                
not, and expected it could be wrapped up in the near future.                   
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR mentioned that there had already been major policy             
changes in the department. He said this recent policy change                   
protects legislators but not necessarily anyone else. He suggested             
that, as the policy making body of the state, they should take a               
look at these changes. SENATOR ELLIS commented that if no changes              
had been made, the committee would be criticizing the department               
for inaction.                                                                  
                                                                               
With no further business to come before the committee, CHAIRMAN                
TAYLOR adjourned the meeting at 2:45 p.m.                                      
                                                                               
                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects