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Retired Lockport cop avoids criminal record with plea in eavesdropping case

Brian W. Wentland, the former chief of detectives in the Lockport Police Department, avoided a criminal record last week when he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, a violation, in a case in which he was accused of recording a telephone call involving his estranged wife.

Lockport Town Justice Cheryl A. Antkowiak imposed a $150 fine and a $125 surcharge.

At first, Wentland was charged with a felony count of eavesdropping on a May 6, 2013, phone call. Public records show Brian and Megan Wentland filed for divorce in 2012, but it wasn't finalized until 2015.

Wentland, who retired in February after run-ins with then-Chief Michael F. Niethe over overtime and his handling of a job interview, was arrested May 4 by investigators form the Niagara County District Attorney's Office.

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