By: KDKA-TV News Staff
ALLEGHENY COUNTY (KDKA) — A longtime assistant Allegheny County district attorney who believed he contracted coronavirus at the courthouse has died.
Russ Broman, 65, died Tuesday at Allegheny General Hospital after a several-week fight with the coronavirus, a family attorney confirmed to KDKA’s Andy Sheehan.
Broman filed a complaint with OSHA and complained to friends and colleagues of dangerous conditions at the Allegheny County Courthouse after contracting the virus. He alleged people did not wear masks.
Broman was in critical condition and on a ventilator at St. Clair Hospital for several weeks before being transferred to Allegheny General Hospital.
Borman was a veteran prosecutor in the district attorney’s office who returned to work only to contract coronavirus.
“Special Assistant District Attorney Russ Broman was a blue collar, roll up your shirt sleeves prosecutor who relished working in the service of the residents of Allegheny County and the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Being a prosecutor isn’t easy and it’s often times hard to separate your personal feelings from the emotions of the job. Russ was always able to walk that line while being incredibly passionate about keeping our community safe,” the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement on Facebook.
“DA Zappala and all of us extend our deepest sympathies to his wife Beverly and the rest of his family and friends, all of whom were looking forward to Russ being able to start his retirement next year. We all support her and offer her strength during this incredibly difficult time,” the post added.
Prior to the courts reopening the first week of June, President Judge Kim Berkely Clark ordered all employees and judges to wear masks. And after a court reporter tested positive, Clark sent out a letter reaffirming the order.
The courts are now using teleconferencing whenever possible
Two attorneys who talked to KDKA’s Jennifer Borrasso are sad and angry. They blame the courts for not taking coronavirus seriously.
Defense attorney Patrick Nightingale started his career working with Broman, who he describes as a mentor.
“I feel sad, I feel angry,” Nightingale said. “I cannot believe we are having this discussion about a dedicated public servant who is now dead because the court didn’t take this virus seriously.”
“I most certainly anticipate that his attorney will be filing litigation against the county,” Nightingale added. They knew it. They did nothing about it. Now this man is dead.
“This man should be getting ready for his retirement. This man should be spending the rest of his days with his family.”
Defense attorney Milton Raiford has argued the courthouse isn’t a safe place and should be shut down until the pandemic is over.
“I think there is an insensitivity and a lack of preemptive measures that could have been taken,” Raiford said. “Explain to his wife and his family that the courthouse was safe.”