April 24, 2013
Lackawanna County police chief arrested
HARRISBURG - A police chief in Lackawanna County was arrested today by agents from the Attorney General's Office. He is accused of intimidating a witness, and instructing a victim or witness to withhold information from law enforcement.
Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane identified the defendant as James Romano, 42, 127 Chapman Lake Road, Scott Township, Lackawanna County. Romano is the police chief of Scott Township and a part-time police officer in Dickson City.
In March, 2013, Romano was investigating sexual misconduct charges against a Lackawanna County high school teacher, charges which he himself had filed against the teacher.
Investigators say Romano began a romantic relationship with a woman whom he was interviewing as part of that investigation. Investigators say Romano revealed confidential investigative information to the woman, and told her she was "his favorite victim."
When he learned the woman was going to be interviewed by authorities, Romano sent her a text message saying "just remember nothing about me," according to the criminal complaint. Later, the woman texted to him, "...should I tell the truth?" to which Romano replied "It would kill me."
At the root of the charges against Romano is the allegation that he acted to prevent vital information from getting to investigators and prosecutors.
Romano is charged with two counts of intimidation of a witness or victim, and one count of obstructing administration of law or other governmental function.
Romano was preliminarily arraigned before Scranton Magisterial District Judge Joanne Corbett and held on $150,000 bail. Additionally, Romano was ordered to have no contact with the witnesses or victims of the investigation. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 1, 2013.
The case will be prosecuted in Lackawanna County by Deputy Attorney General Daniel Dye of the Attorney General's Criminal Prosecutions Section.
Kane thanked the Lackawanna County District Attorney's Office, the Scott Township Police Department, and the Dickson City Police Department for their assistance with the investigation.
(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)
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