Charged Chief Has Bail Reduced

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SCRANTON -- A police chief in Lackawanna County facing charges stemming from his relationship with a witness in another case will have bail reduced by $100,000.

Part of his argument to get bail lowered was the way he was arrested last month.

Attorneys for Scott Township Police Chief James Romano said they came to an agreement with prosecutors Thursday to reduce the chief's bail. Even though Romano already posted bail, they said this fight was more about principle. They said the attorney general's office broke the law when they arrested him last month.

Suspended Scott Township Police Chief James Romano and his attorneys left the Lackawanna County Courthouse relieved knowing the chief would get $100,000 back he spent on bail when he was arrested in April.

The meeting happened behind closed doors and had less to do with what the chief is accused of and more to do with what happened on the day Romano was arrested.

Chief Romano said the attorney general's office showed up at his home near Montdale last month with a tactical team that pointed rifles at him and his teenage daughter.

In court papers filed for the hearing, the attorney general's office offered its explanation saying it was a safety precaution.

"It is not lost on the Commonwealth that persons faced with criminal charges which forever alter their life and livelihood are unpredictable," wrote Deputy Attorney General Daniel Dye.

"We understand that they have to respond in some way, shape, or form, they may not have been right according to the law. But we got what we wanted today and we're pleased," said defense attorney Bernard Brown.

Romano's attorneys said the chief has a long legal road ahead. He's facing a number of felonies because he's accused of having a sexual relationship with a witness in one of his cases. But attorneys claim when he was first arraigned on those charges, they didn't know about it and that's against the law.

The attorney general's office fired back by saying, "[The] defendant's statement that Rule 540 has been 'violated' shows abundance of arrogance or a plain misstatement of the law."

A judge just needs to sign off on the deal to reduce bail. Romano's attorneys said they plan to take his case to trial.

The chief is suspended without pay from the Scott Township Police Department.