Former town of Ulster Police Chief Matthew Taggard admitted he believed sex crimes were being committed in a neighboring community and failed to take any steps to prevent them, the Ulster County district attorney said Tuesday.But, if anyone thinks this puts a close to the Taggard portion of this saga, he or she has another thing coming. We can glean from the above paragraphs, for example, the fact that others are under investigation. Taggard was aware that someone else was committing sex crimes during his tenure with the Explorers program (it's a police cadet camp, essentially). Who was this other person or persons? We don't know yet.
Taggard, who was suspended in June and retired in September, pleaded guilty Monday night before Saugerties Village Justice Robert Rightmyer to a misdemeanor charge of official misconduct. He was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, a $205 crime victims service fee and a $50 DNA collection fee.
Taggard also was given a one-year conditional discharge of any jail sentence, meaning if he violates the terms of his sentence, he could be brought back to court and sentenced to up to a year in the Ulster County Jail, according to District Attorney Holley Carnright.
And then we get to the part that must have them sweating just a bit:
Taggard has run the Ulster County Police Academy and a cadet Explorer program for teens. He also has worked in the town of Ulster police dog division, has been an instructor for the Ulster County Law Enforcement Group and the Citizens’ Police Academy and has been a member of the Ulster County Emergency Response Team.So, the FBI is working to develop federal charges and Carnwright is no longer involved. You will also note that Taggard has not been charged federally, at least not yet. Thus it's safe to assume that he is cooperating with the feds in regard to this case. And he would be wise to do so. The feds don't mess around. Best to come clean and do whatever they ask. And the odds are very strong that Taggard has been advised to do just this.
Carnright said his office coordinated its investigation with the FBI and that Taggard’s guilty plea will not bar federal prosecution should the FBI develop sufficient information to support federal charges.
Carnright said he no longer is investigating the case.
So, when will the other shoe drop? Who were the others Taggard was covering for? Are any of them now prominent officials? Just how big is this coverup?
Stay tuned, folks. It appears there is a lot more to come on this one.