Three state troopers in western New York have been suspended as part of a State Police investigation into allegations that at least one of the troopers was involved in prostitution.
According to New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico, Titus Taggart, a 41-year-old trooper assigned to Troop T in Buffalo, was suspended without pay, effective April 26.
Taggart, an 18-year veteran of the state police, "is alleged to have organized parties that may have involved the promotion of prostitution, while off-duty," D’Amico said in a press release.
The suspension is the result of an internal investigation that was initiated in December 2011. Authorities have yet to comment on specific allegations. Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita did not immediately return a call for comment from The Huffington Post.
The New York Times reported Taggart moonlighted as a party promoter. The parties allegedly involved exotic dancers and prostitutes from Canada, the newspaper reported.
A Facebook page attributed to Taggart has been deleted, however the Times Union of Albany was able to download a number of images before it was taken down. One of the images shows a man, identified by the newspaper as Taggart, posing with a large bottle of liquor. In another photo, the same man is shown standing in front of an SUV.
Taggart could not be reached for comment. According to Buffnews.com, his father, Arthur Taggart Sr., is a retired State Police colonel. The same media outlet also reported Taggart's cousin, Derrick Luchey, is a former state trooper who was kicked out in 1992 after being convicted of cocaine trafficking. Sentenced to 20 years to life, Luchey was reportedly released in October 2004.
Trooper Jeremy C. Smith, 34, and Trooper Michael L. Petritz, 33, were also suspended without pay on Thursday in connection with a State Police administrative investigation.
D'Amico said Smith, a 10-year veteran of the force, and Petritz, an eight-year trooper, were "suspended for allegedly engaging in misconduct, however, were not involved in organizing the parties."
The investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made.
"For the last couple of years, of course, we've been in the paper probably a little too much for the conduct of some of our former bosses and what have you. You hate to see the State Police in a bad light," New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association President Thomas Mungeer told YNN News.