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News (Media Awareness Project) - US CO: Former Arapahoe Sheriff Arrested On Meth Dealing Charge
Title:US CO: Former Arapahoe Sheriff Arrested On Meth Dealing Charge
Published On:2011-11-29
Source:Denver Post (CO)
Fetched On:2011-11-30 06:02:54

Former Arapahoe County Sheriff Patrick Sullivan was arrested today on
charges of trying to trade drugs to a man for sex, as investigators
monitored the deal.

Drug task force officers were "visually monitoring" the deal when the
68-year-old retired cop delivered meth to an Aurora home and sought
sex in return, said current Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson.

"This shows that no one is above the law, particularly a current or a
former peace officer," said Robinson.

Robinson said Sullivan had an ongoing relationship with the man and
others he had a history of bonding out of jails in the metro region.

Sullivan is being held on a $250,000 bond in the jail that bears his
name, the Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. Detention Facility. He was sheriff
from 1984 until his retirement in 2002.

A call left at his family home in Littleton tonight was not returned.

Robinson said investigators received a tip earlier this month that
Sullivan was dealing meth, sparking the investigation that culminated
in his arrest and staggering fall from grace.

He had retired from law enforcement to become director of safety and
security for Cherry Creek Schools in 2002, retiring from there in
2008. He was hired in the aftermath of security concerns after the
Columbine massacre.

In a statement released Tuesday night, Cherry Creek School District
Superintendent Mary Chesley said, "We are absolutely stunned at the
news of Mr. Sullivan's arrest and are fully co-operating the Arapahoe
County Sheriff's Office with their investigation."

Sullivan had a storied law-enforcement career and was named the
Sheriff of the Year by the National Sheriffs' Association in 2001.

In 1989 he evaded machine gun fire as he took down a murder and rape
suspect who was high on cocaine. The sheriff drove a Jeep through the
fence of an Arapahoe County home to rescue two deputies and a wounded
17-year-old boy who had been taken hostage.

He was named undersheriff in 1983 and appointed sheriff six months
later, after Sheriff Ed Nelson died of a heart attack. He went on to
win four elections.

Sullivan was a nationally expert on cyberterrorism and other law
enforcement issues. He participated in a statewide meth task force in 2000.

When he took the job with Cherry Creek schools in 2002, he oversaw a
staff of 110 security officers and coordinated safety for 53 buildings.

As sheriff, he had managed a budget of $47 million budget, 628
employees and a 1,100-bed jail, where he is now housed.

Sullivan faces a charge of unlawful distribution, manufacturing,
dispensing or sale of a controlled substance, the Sheriff's Department stated.

The class 5 felony carries up to six years in prison.

Robinson called it a "sad time" for his department.

Former Arapahoe County Commissioner Jim Dyer, who was not on the
commission when Sullivan was sheriff, said he was shocked when told of
the sheriff's arrest.

"I knew he had a distinguished career," Dyer said. "I think he was a
good guy. That's shocking. I am absolutely astounded."

Steve Ward, a former county commissioner who worked with Sullivan,
said he "couldn't be more shocked."

"I'm sad for him," he said. "As a law enforcement officer, he was
second to none."

Former Arapahoe County District Attorney Jim Peters, who worked with
Sullivan, said the allegations against the former sheriff are "totally
out of character" for the man he knew and "hard to believe."

"He was completely ethical, upright and honest," Peters said. "He just
oozed honesty and integrity. He was an outstanding sheriff."
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