Trooper Titus Taggert. Courtesy: Facebook
BUFFALO, NY-The New York State Police say a WNY trooper is suspended without pay for his alleged involvement in promoting prostitution while off duty.
The investigation has been on-going since December 2011, according to police, but Thursday, Trooper Titus Taggart, of Buffalo, was suspended.
The Albany Times Union first reported that Trooper Titus Taggart, an 18 year veteran, was under investigation. A statement from the State Police says the trooper is alleged to have organized parties that may have involved prostitution.
Taggart, the son of a trooper himself, is based out of Troop T in Buffalo. He is an 18-year veteran of the force. Taggart could not immediately be reached Thursday afternoon.
State Police spokesperson, Sgt. Kern Swoboda, tells 2 On Your Side he is not aware of any criminal charges pending against Trooper Taggart at this time.
Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita would not comment on whether or not his office was investigating the case.
Shortly after the news broke on Thursday, Taggart took down a Facebook page that showed pictures of him drinking and partying.
Even so, at least one legal expert believes those photos could cause trouble for Taggart if he ever faces charges.
"I think that it very well could be admissible," said former Erie County District Attorney Frank Clark. "I think it's very damming, because it means more to the average citizen, than it might legally in terms of the quality of proof."
State Police also annouced the suspension of two other troopers, assigned to the Henrietta barracks, in connection with the investigation. The are identified as Trooper Jeremy C. Smith, 34, and Trooper Michael L. Petritz, 33; the troopers are suspended for allegedly engaging in misconduct, but not for organzing parties.
Police say Trooper Smith is a ten-year trooper and Trooper Petritiz is an eight-year-trooper.