The House of Representatives voted 85 to 63 Tuesday for final passage of a bill restricting wrongful incarceration awards and requiring legislative review of any award in excess of $20,000 from the office of the claims commissioner, which made a controversial $16.8 million award to four former gang members in January.
J. Paul Vance Jr., the claims commissioner under fire for awarding $16.8 million to compensate four member members of a New Haven gang whose murder convictions were set aside, submitted a resignation letter last week, the governor’s office said Friday.
Miguel Roman, who served 20 years, six months and 10 days in prison for a murder the state concedes he did not commit, was awarded $6 million Monday by the state claims commissioner. DNA evidence exonerated him in 2008 and convicted another man in 2011.
State Claims Commissioner J. Paul Vance Jr. and his role as the sole authority over how Connecticut reimburses the wrongly incarcerated faces questions at the State Capitol after his award of $16.8 million last month to four former members of a New Haven street gang, the Island Brothers. Are the standards clear? And should his awards be subject to review?