Delegates endorse Cahill and Kainen for State’s Attorney
By Christian Avard
Staff Writer | February 13,2013
HARTLAND — Windsor County Democratic Committee Chairman William Kuch was in for a surprise as delegates endorsed two candidates to replace Windsor County State’s Attorney Robert Sand on Monday.
Approximately 30 delegates approved a resolution in support of David Cahill of Norwich and Michael Kainen of Hartford to serve out the remaining years of Sand’s four-year term, which expires in 2014. Gov. Peter Shumlin will decide on a replacement by Sand’s retirement date March 25.
According to Kuch, the delegates thought Cahill and Kainen were well-qualified and choosing one over the other was difficult.
“There weren’t any ‘nays.’ I expected people wanted to make a choice and vote for one or the other,” Kuch said.
Cahill and Kainen made pitches to delegates, town officials and local residents at Damon Hall in Hartland. Cahill has served as Windsor County Deputy State’s Attorney for seven years in Windsor and Kainen has served as Orange County Deputy State’s Attorney for two.
Hartford Select Board Vice Chairman F.X. Flinn asked the candidates how they would address a police chief who is upset with them for not prosecuting a criminal to the fullest extent of the law. Kainen said he would explain his decision, be proactive and communicate effectively.
“It’s not an easy task. Sometime you will have disagreements,” Kainen said.
Cahill acknowledged disagreements occur but in the end, “They trust my judgment,” he said.
When asked what are the most prevalent crimes in Windsor County, Cahill said home burglaries.
“As state’s attorney, I consider that to be classified as a violent offense that merits a significant response from the state,” Cahill said. “Not only is entering someone’s home an enormous invasion, it puts a lot of people at risk.”
“They’re doing it to get money for pills, heroin, crack, etc. Most of that is related to the drug addiction problem,” Kainen said.
Amy Messina, a women’s advocate from Windsor County, asked the candidates how they would explain to a survivor of sexual or domestic violence for opting not to prosecute even if there is significant evidence of a crime. Kainen said that prosecutors have an obligation not to go forward on a case unless they believe the defense is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Cahill said he makes a decision based on a consensus with pertinent law officials, the victim and his or her advocate. He also stressed that open dialog can also contribute to a better handling of cases.
“If the victim or the community advocate wants to have a talk about why they think I’m wrong, I’m happy to have that meeting. I want to give the victim the benefit of the doubt,” Cahill said.