The chief law enforcement officer in a Lackawanna County municipality has been arrested
by agents with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office on witness intimidation charges.
James Romano, 42, the police chief of Scott Township, was arrested on April 24 and charged with instructing a victim or witness to withhold information from law enforcement.
Romano, also a part-time police officer in nearby Dickson City, allegedly began a romantic relationship with a woman he was interviewing in connection with another case police were looking into back in March involving sexual misconduct on the part of a Lackawanna County high school teacher, according to the office of Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
Romano ended up sharing confidential police information with the woman, who he allegedly called his “favorite victim.”
Prosecutors then allege that Romano, upon learning the woman was going to be interviewed by investigators, sent the female a text message saying “just remember nothing about me,” according to the criminal complaint in the Romano case.
The woman later responded to Romano’s text by asking, “should I tell the truth?” This was met by Romano’s reply, “It would kill me.”
The Attorney General’s Office said the main allegation against Romano is that he acted to prevent vital case information from getting to law enforcement authorities investigating the high school sexual misconduct case.
Romano is being charged with two counts of intimidation of a witness or victim, and one count of obstructing administration of law or other governmental function.
The police chief was preliminarily arraigned before a Scranton magisterial district judge and held on $150,000 bail. He was also instructed to have no contact with the other witnesses or victims in the case.
A preliminary hearing for Romano is slated to take place on May. 1.