Former Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office Employee Pleads Guilty to Obstruction of Justice

PITTSBURGH, PA – A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of obstruction of justice, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Erika Romanowski, 40, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.

In connection with the guilty plea, Romanowski admitted that while employed as a clerk with the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO), she had access to sensitive law enforcement information, including information related to ongoing federal investigations with which ACSO assisted. Romanowski further admitted that, between in and around February 2018 and in and around April 2018, she disclosed non-public, sensitive law enforcement information to two personal associates, identified as Person A and Person B, in an effort to protect Person B from investigation and prosecution by federal authorities. The court was further advised that Person A and Person B were targets of an ongoing federal grand jury investigation focused on the criminal activities of a drug trafficking organization operating in the West End neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Romanowski further admitted that during the course of an interview with Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation on June 20, 2018, she repeatedly lied about having disclosed non-public, sensitive law enforcement information to Person A and Person B.

Judge Schwab scheduled sentencing for March 18, 2019, at 9:30 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not more than 20 years in prison, a fine of not more than $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued the defendant’s bond.

Assistant United States Attorneys Eric G. Olshan and Rachael L Dizard are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Romanowski.