Archive

Allegheny County sheriff’s clerk pleads guilty to tipping off suspects about drug probe | TribLIVE.com
Allegheny

Allegheny County sheriff’s clerk pleads guilty to tipping off suspects about drug probe

445335gavel

A former Allegheny County sheriff’s clerk pleaded guilty Wednesday to leaking secret police information to leaders of a drug-trafficking organization in Pittsburgh’s West End, according to U.S. Attorney Scott Brady’s office.

Erika Romanowski, 40, of Pittsburgh, pleaded guilty in federal court in Pittsburgh to one count of obstruction of justice.

Romanowski was accused of giving information to drug traffickers and lying to FBI agents when she was interviewed in June.

According to court records, Romanowski called one drug suspect to tell him to “stay home” because police and agents would be conducting a raid.

In another phone call, court records said, Romanowski telephoned a drug suspect to say she “just heard they are hitting houses over there (West End) … the feds called for backup.” Later that day, she called the man to say she wasn’t at work so she couldn’t hear the police radio about what was going on, prosecutors said.

“Every government employee with knowledge of a criminal investigation must maintain its confidentiality, whether or not they serve in a law enforcement capacity,” Brady said after Romanowski’s arrest. “Even more troubling, her actions could have jeopardized the safety of law enforcement officers. Corruption regardless of station will be prosecuted.”

U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab scheduled sentencing for March 18.

Romanowski faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.