About the Prosecutor
Theodore J. Romankow was appointed as the chief law enforcement officer of Union County, New Jersey on July 26, 2002. As such, he oversees an office of 250 employees and a 19.5 million budget and coordinates the law enforcement efforts of approximately 2,000 police offices in 21 local police departments, the Sheriff’s Office and the Union County Police Department. Prosecutor Romankow was nominated by Governor McGreevey in 2002 and reappointed by Governor Jon Corzine to his second term as Prosecutor in January 2008.
Prosecutor Romankow graduated from Seton Hall University and the Rutgers School of Law, Newark, New Jersey. After graduating from law school, the Prosecutor was admitted to the State of New Jersey Bar and the Bar of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. He was also admitted to the United States Supreme Court in 2006.
Prior to his appointment as Prosecutor, Romankow was a partner in a private law firm where he was well known for his extensive civil and criminal litigation expertise. He has served as Chairman of the Union County Ethics Committee and has been a member of the Judicial Appointments Committee.
Since his appointment as Prosecutor, Romankow served as President of the Prosecutor’s Association of New Jersey and chaired the Prosecutor’s Association Juvenile Justice Committee. He has also served in various capacities on the Drug Court Committee, the Child Life Protection Commission and the Coalition for the Prevention of Substance Abuse.
When he took office as Prosecutor, Romankow vowed to make drug interdiction and gang prevention and prosecution the centerpieces of his administration. Union County is a major thoroughfare with substantial quantities of narcotics packaged and distributed to wit cocaine, heroin and marijuana. He has overseen 20 major narcotic investigations, which encompassed over hundreds of court ordered wiretaps, car bugs, and global positioning systems authorized for electronic surveillance resulting in the confiscation of large amounts of illicit drugs packaged for distribution, the seizure of millions of dollars in cash and property, the arrest and conviction of scores of mid to high level drug dealers.
At the direction of Prosecutor Romankow, Union County became one of the first in the state to utilize the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) statute against drug dealers and members of their organizations. Electronic surveillance conducted under the direction of Prosecutor Romankow has led to the arrest and conviction of organized crime figures, gang members and leaders, drug kingpins and even decorated law enforcement officers. Prosecutor Romankow has facilitated cooperation among all levels of law enforcement including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New Jersey State Police and countless state, county and municipal police agencies. The Union County Prosecutor’s Office has consistently been a leader in the State in a number of electronic surveillance investigations conducted and has been cited for being aggressive and innovative with its investigative techniques.
Prosecutor Romankow in continuing his effort to stem violence created a Gang Task Force and Gang Intelligence Unit. This newly created Unit is specifically charged with investigating gang-related crimes and prosecuting these various felons. At his direction, a gang member directory was created. This directory is the first pictorial directory to utilize various determining identifiers from the United States Federal Government. This directory has been provided to every municipality within Union County, along with the state and federal law enforcement agencies.
Romankow is a frequent lecturer on the topic of Drug Interdiction, Gang Violence and Human Trafficking. The Prosecutor testified before the New Jersey Assembly and Senate Judiciary Committees on the plight of women and children forced into servitude. He helped draft the anti human Trafficking law. He recently testified in the Senate before the Law and Public Safety and Veteran’s Affairs Committee in reference to proposed amendments to the New Jersey Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act. The New Jersey Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association awarded him the Prosecutor of the Year award in 2008.
He traveled to Colombia in 2008 to meet with Drug Enforcement Agents and Colombian Officials including the Attorney General of Colombia. The focus of the meeting was to discuss drug trafficking between Colombia and the United States and the impact these drugs have on local government and law enforcement. As a result of this cooperation between the Colombian government and Prosecutor Romankow the Colombian government located and extradited a known high level drug kingpin who had been a fugitive since 2005. The defendant pled guilty and was recently sentenced to 30 years in New Jersey State Prison. This fugitive imported multi kilos of cocaine and heroin to the Union County area.
Prosecutor Romankow’s commitment to prosecuting mid and high level drug networks has resulted in 100% conviction rate and lengthy jail sentences of over 300 major drug distributors which had previously been accomplished only by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies.