Former Arapahoe County Sheriff Makes First Court Appearance
ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Former Arapahoe County Sheriff Pat Sullivan is still behind bars and on Wednesday his bond was doubled.
Sullivan, one of Colorado’s most celebrated law enforcement officers, appeared in court Wednesday morning. 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.
The feeling in the courtroom was awkward based on who Sullivan is, his stature in the community, and the particular courthouse where he appeared.
Sullivan’s bond was doubled to $500,000 due to the high profile nature of the case.
Sullivan walked into court using a cane, wearing full shackles binding his arms to his waist. No family members were in court, but Sullivan’s daughter, Pam Sullivan, spoke with CBS4 shortly after the arrest.
“I’m disappointed. I’m very sad. I think it’s going to take a little time for me to process,” Pam said.
Sullivan showed no emotion in court. Allegations outlined in a probable cause affidavit say the investigation began with a 911 call of an unwanted man at a Centennial home later identified as Sullivan.
Deputies received tips that Sullivan was involved in distributing and using meth. The informants told police they could get meth from the former sheriff in exchange for sex because they had done it before and were paid in cash and meth.
Watch Brian Maass’ report on how the investigation began and how there is an investigation into if Sullivan contracted HIV or assaulted minors in the video below:
Police set up an undercover sting at an Aurora home using cameras that allegedly caught Sullivan offering meth to the informant in the bedroom. Police say two small bags of meth were found on Sullivan.
“We are fairly confident that based on the investigators that are involved in this matter that there will be additional information developed that will bring allegations and additional criminal charges,” Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said.
CBS4 INVESTIGATES: Former Sheriff’s Home Searched, Gay Porn, Computer Seized
The criminal charges have rattled those who know of the law enforcement icon, especially the people closest to him, like his neighbor of 10 years, Leonor Ferrand.
“I (could not) sleep last night because I know these people. I have children and can’t believe it. I said someone can do something like this, but not him,” Ferrand said.
Sullivan will be back in court Monday when he is officially charged.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Sullivan Affidavit
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.