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Trooper fired amid probe into off-duty activities

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BY: By Matt Gryta

Buffalo, N.Y. - Titus Taggart, an 18-year veteran of the State Police and the son of a former top State Police official, was fired Friday as an internal investigation continues into allegations he was involved with off-duty parties involving prostitutes.

In announcing the dismissal of Taggart, 41, officials also announced that, as the result of an investigation that got under way in December, Troopers Frederick Franklin and Mark Hufnagel have been suspended from duty.

All three were assigned to Buffalo-area duties.

Neither Taggart nor his attorney, Michael G. O'Rourke, could be reached to comment.

However, John V. Elmore, an attorney who represented Taggart's cousin, Derrick Luchey, a former state trooper, in a cocaine-trafficking case a decade ago, said, "It's so sad," when informed of Taggart's firing.

Luchey was removed from the force after he was convicted of cocaine trafficking in the early 1990s.

State Police officials declined to comment when asked if Taggart still qualifies for a state police pension.

Taggart's father is Arthur Taggart, who retired as a state police colonel and who was once a special assistant to former State Police Superintendent Thomas Constantine.

The fired trooper in December became the subject of an investigation into reports that he brought prostitutes from Canada into the United States for off-duty parties.

A decade ago, he was involved in what was described as a violent incident involving a woman on Chippewa Street -- accused, in an off-duty incident, of striking the woman in the face and knocking her to the pavement near the bar district in early 2002.

Taggart was suspended from duty for three days over that incident.

Taggart, an Amherst resident, was last assigned to patrol the Thruway in Western New York.


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Posted on 6/23/2012 9:15 AM | CGB

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