July 16, 2009
The Honorable Richard N. Palmer, Chairman of the Criminal Justice Commission, announced today the Commission has appointed John C. Smriga as State's Attorney for the Judicial District of Fairfield.
Attorney Smriga was appointed by a unanimous vote of the commission to succeed Jonathan C. Benedict, who retired this summer after more than 30 years as a prosecutor, including the past 12 years as the State's Attorney in Bridgeport. The appointment is effective July 17, 2009 for an eight-year term expiring June 30, 2017.
Justice Palmer extended the Commission's congratulations to Attorney Smriga and its gratitude to all of the attorneys who had applied for the position of State's Attorney.
"The Commission welcomes Attorney Smriga to the senior management of the Division of Criminal Justice. We are confident that Attorney Smriga will provide the strong leadership for the Office of the State's Attorney that will be so crucial especially in light of the serious fiscal realities."
He was hired as a Deputy Assistant State's Attorney at Geographical Area No. 1 in Stamford effective July 24, 1981. He was advanced to Assistant State's Attorney effective June 22, 1984. On November 2, 1984, Attorney Smriga transferred to Geographical Area No. 2 in Bridgeport and on March 3, 1986, he transferred to the Judicial District of Fairfield (Part A) in Bridgeport. He was designated Senior Assistant State's Attorney effective July 1995 and promoted to Supervisory Assistant State's Attorney effective October 31, 1997.
The State's Attorney is the chief law enforcement officer in a Judicial District. The Fairfield State's Attorney oversees prosecutors at the Superior Court, Part A, and Post Conviction unit in Bridgeport as well as the Superior Court Geographical Area No. 2, the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters and the Superior Court Housing session, also in Bridgeport.
Established by Article XXIII of the Connecticut Constitution, the Criminal Justice Commission is responsible for the appointment of all state prosecutors in Connecticut with the exception of juvenile prosecutors. It is chaired by Justice Palmer, an Associate Justice of the state Supreme Court.
In addition to Justice Palmer, the Commission members are the Honorable Thomas A. Bishop, Judge of the Appellate Court, and attorneys Maura Hughes Horan, Garrett M. Moore, Ann G. Taylor and Alfred A. Turco. The Chief State's Attorney is also a member of the Commission but does not participate in the appointment of the Deputy Chief State's Attorneys.