BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - A former state trooper who was fired for organizing off-duty parties featuring prostitutes avoided a jail sentence on Wednesday.
Titus Taggart was sentenced in Buffalo to three years of probation and 300 hours of community service.
Taggart pleaded guilty in Erie County Court in December to promoting prostitution and had faced as much as a year in jail on the misdemeanor count. The plea came eight months after the 18-year veteran was suspended by state police as they investigated allegations that he threw off-duty parties with prostitutes.
Judge Kenneth Case said he decided against jailing Taggart because of the economic loss he has already suffered by losing his job and because of a number of letters supporting Taggart. He chastised the ex-trooper for dishonoring the police agency.
The 42-year-old Taggart had been assigned to the Thruway detail in Buffalo. Four other western New York troopers were also accused of misconduct and disciplined during the investigation.
Prosecutors said Taggart's party-organizing included bringing prostitutes across the border from Canada.
One of the parties was held in November 2011 at the New Brotherhood Motorcycle Club. Court papers cited by the Buffalo News described a group of men gathered to watch a pay-per-view broadcast of a boxing match as 10 strippers performed and alcohol was illegally served.
Internal affairs investigators who'd been tipped off about Taggart organizing the party reported seeing the four other troopers there as well, according to the documents.
One was fired for condoning the illegal activity and two resigned after admitting they paid for sex acts, the newspaper reported in December. Another remains a trooper after being suspended for 60 days for getting drunk at the party, according to the court documents.
Taggart is the son of retired state police Col. Arthur Taggart, who was a special assistant to former state police Superintendent Thomas Constantine.
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