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April 22, 2022

Biden nominates Jacqueline C. Romero to be successor to Bill McSwain as U.S. Attorney in Philly

The New Jersey native is the first woman to be nominated as top prosecutor for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Government Prosecution
Jacqueline Romero US Attorney Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Jacqueline C. Romero, 51, has been nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Pictured above is the James A. Byrne U.S. Courthouse in Philadelphia.

President Joe Biden on Friday nominated Jacqueline C. Romero to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where she would assume the role as top prosecutor previously held by Bill McSwain.

Romero was among five nominees Biden unveiled for U.S. attorney positions at the Justice Department. The Eastern District of Pennsylvania is based in Philadelphia and also covers Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Berks and Northampton counties. The district's four courthouses are in Philadelphia, Reading, Allentown and Easton. 

Romero's nomination makes her the first woman and first woman of color to be nominated for the position. McSwain, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, resigned in Jan. 21 and is now one of several Republican candidates running for governor in 2022. Since McSwain's departure, the position has been held by Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams, who was McSwain's first assistant.

Under former President Obama, the position was held by Zane David Memeger.

Romero, 51, has served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania since 2006. She was previously a senior counsel to the United States Mint and served as a trial attorney in the commercial litigation branch of the Justice Department from 1998 to 2000.

The granddaughter of Spanish immigrants, Romero was introduced to politics while working at her parents' diner, where she met local politicians and regularly read newspapers that were delivered to the restaurant, Al Día reported.

Romero received her J.D. from Rutgers Law School in 1996 and her B.A. from the College of New Jersey in 1993.

As U.S. Attorney, McSwain often clashed with Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner and opposed the sanctuary city status that granted protections to undocumented immigrants. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Romero would step into the role as Philadelphia confronts a deadly epidemic of gun violence and the worsening of the opioid crisis.

In addition to Romero, Biden also nominated private criminal defense attorney and former public defender, Gerard M. Karam, to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

The president now has 48 U.S. Attorney and five U.S. Marshal nominees awaiting confirmation by the US Senate. To date, the Senate has confirmed more than a third of the 80 US attorney candidates Biden has nominated since taking office.