Newly retired State Police Investigator James W. Talford Jr. was spared criminal punishment Tuesday but ordered to stay away from the two Fort Erie, Ont., women whom he was accused of harassing.
Buffalo City Judge E. Jeannette Ogden granted Talford, 45, of Clarence, a conditional discharge on his guilty plea to non-criminal violation counts of second-degree harassment and disorderly conduct for calls he made to the women, one a former girlfriend of the trooper.
Talford, who admitted providing the U.S. Border Patrol false information about the women in April, also was ordered to cooperate with the Niagara Regional Police in a continuing investigation linked to his relationship with the women.
At the request of Kristen A. St. Mary, chief of the Erie County district attorney's Domestic Violence Bureau, the judge also issued orders of protection to both women, directing Talford not to attempt to contact either in any manner until at least Sept. 30., 2010.
The judge also ordered Talford to pay $120 in court fines and perform 50 hours of community service at Buffalo School 44, where "challenged teenagers" are sent to study.
Talford had been a state trooper for the past 21 years, last assigned as an investigator in the Buffalo office of the State Police Counterterrorism Intelligence Unit.
St. Mary told the judge the plea deal resolves the misdemeanor harassment case the Erie County district attorney's office began in the summer.
Talford admitted that he made a series of harassing calls to both women on March 28, 2008, and gave the Border Patrol false information about them this April 23.
Daniel M. Killelea, Talford's lawyer, told the judge Talford had put in his retirement papers about a month ago, long before prosecutors made any plea offers.
St. Mary declined to identify the two women.
The State Police in July announced what it described as an ongoing "criminal and internal investigation" involving Talford, who had just been suspended without pay and was being prosecuted on misdemeanor charges of aggravated harassment, official misconduct and attempting to falsify business records.
State Police officials, refusing to disclose additional information, in the summer said they were involved in a joint investigation of Talford that also included investigators from the Erie County district attorney's office and the Niagara Regional Police in St. Catharines, Ont.