ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)- The family of former Arapahoe County Sheriff Pat Sullivan said they are trying to learn all the facts associated with his arrest.
“We are in shock right now. We are still trying to figure out what’s happened to our family,” said Sullivan’s daughter Pam Sullivan.
Police arrested Sullivan Tuesday afternoon on a felony drug charge, accusing the 68-year-old former sheriff of attempting to trade methamphetamine for sex with a male acquaintance.
“Shock… saddened and we’re trying to understand what’s happening and we really would appreciate everyone understanding we need our privacy and family time right now,” said Pam.
When asked by CBS4 anchor Tom Mustin if she had a chance to talk to her father, Pam replied, “No! Honest to God, I did not know when I pulled up here what happened.”
When asked how her mother was reacting to the news, she replied, “I’m not going to comment on that.”
Neighbors Jay and Cheryl Ostlie have known the Sullivans for more than a decade. They were stunned after they learned of Sullivan’s arrest.
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“Dismayed. I just put my head in my hands and was in shock,” said Jay Ostlie. “Of course they are allegations and we don’t believe it. We think the most of Pat and Linda so we’re in shock. We’re just in shock. We’ve been friends with them for 13 years. We’ve lived here for 13 years and we just can’t believe it.”
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Sullivan Affidavit
“He’s been a very good neighbor and been very nice and I would have never guessed anything like that was going on,” said Sullivan neighbor Pete Scherman.
More About Pat Sullivan
Sullivan was the elected Arapahoe County Sheriff for 19 years. He retired in 2002 and went on to become director of safety and security for Cherry Creek Schools. He was a nationally-regarded law enforcement figure and in 2001 as the National Sheriff Association named Sullivan “Sheriff of the Year.”
According to public records, in 2007 and 2008 Sullivan was an active participant in state and local methamphetamine task forces, helping craft a state plan to deal with the scourge of methamphetamine.
Sullivan was a revered figure in law enforcement. When he retired the Rocky Mountain News called him “Dedicated. Loyal. Available. Protector. High Achiever. Medal of Valor Winner. Hero.”
The National Association of School Resource Officers gave Sullivan a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002. At the time the executive director of NASRO, Curtis Lavarello, said of Sullivan, “You are not only committed to the SRO concept, but have truly spent your entire career making every effort to keep children safe.”
Sullivan served in law enforcement for 40 years, beginning in 1962 as a Littleton police officer and dispatcher. He joined the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office in 1979 as a captain and patrol division commander. He was named undersheriff in 1983 and appointed to the top job 6 months later.
Sullivan testified before congressional subcommittees on several occasions, weighing in on various law enforcement issues.
President Bill Clinton named Sullivan in 1995 to the National Commission on Crime Prevention and Control. According to a 1995 White House news release, Sullivan was a consultant to U.S. House Subcommittee on Crime and served on two advisory councils affiliated with the Department of Justice.