ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Less than a week after former Arapahoe County Sheriff Pat Sullivan intimidated a witness by flashing his badge and announcing, “I am the police,” the current Arapahoe County Sheriff ordered Sullivan to surrender his badge and other police identifications.
The order stemmed from an incident Sept. 20 in Centennial. Sullivan had been spending time at a home at 6722 East Jamison Place where several recovering meth addicts were living. But one resident — Dillon Grilley — threatened to call police on Sullivan telling authorities he believed Sullivan was a bad influence and was getting the recovering addicts back into drugs.
When Grilley asked Sullivan to leave and called 911, Sullivan said, “If you want the police, I am the police,” and flashed a badge, according to a police report on the incident.
Responding to a CBS4 Open Records Act request, current Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson released a letter he wrote to Sullivan six days after that incident.
“Effective immediately, the credentials of the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, currently in your possession, are revoked,” read the letter. “The building pass, commission card and deputy sheriff badge in your possession, property of the Arapahoe County Sheriff, must be surrendered to my Office immediately. As the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office credentials are revoked, you have no authority as a Peace Officer … any item in your possession, other than those listed in this letter, that reflects any insignia of the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office should be considered to have memorial value only.”
Robinson told CBS4 Sullivan never responded to the letter or several follow up phone calls, but he says the badge and other items in question were recovered when investigators searched Sullivan’s home this week.
Robinson said, “Sullivan has not had authority as a member of the Sheriff’s Office since his retirement. He has not participated in any mandatory training required to maintain the authority of a peace officer. The building pass was issued to Sullivan upon his retirement as a courtesy. That building pass was deactivated several months ago and access to the facilities was limited.”
There were other developments in the Sullivan story Friday. Denver Police reopened an investigation into the death of Sean Moss, a case that led to police interviewing Sullivan earlier this year about his relationship with Moss.
The 27-year-old’s body was found face down in the South Platte River in January. A DPD detective interviewed Sullivan after Moss death after learning Sullivan and Moss were friends and that Sullivan had bailed Moss out of jail two weeks earlier.
When CBS4 reported on the connection Thursday, a Denver Police spokesperson said it was a “closed case” and there was “nothing suspicious” about the Moss death. Friday, the Denver Police Department labeled that a “misstatement” and spokesperson Sonny Jackson said there is an “active, ongoing investigation” into Moss’ death.
The coroner said Moss likely drowned, but whether that was a homicide, suicide or accident has not been determined. An autopsy report shows at the time of his death, Moss was under the influence of meth and GHB, which is more commonly known as a date rape drug. The coroner’s report also notes that Moss was found with a backpack that contained a broken glass pipe, an insulin syringe, an empty tube of lubricant, a sexual device, 19 DVDs and court documents.
Police arrested Moss two weeks earlier after he got into a fight with his life partner. Pat Sullivan bonded Moss out of jail.
The relationship between Sullivan and Moss goes even deeper. When Sullivan was director of safety and security for the Cherry Creek school district, the district hired Moss in August 2007 to do security at Overland High School. He listed Pat Sullivan as a reference. Moss resigned the position after 13 days on the job citing “personal reasons.”
As CBS4 previously reported, a multi-jurisdictional task force has been formed with their sole mission to examine Sullivan’s past history and other potential criminal cases. The Denver Police Department has four investigators on the task force while Arapahoe County has seven investigators working 16 hours a day on the case. Several of the investigators will begin working next week in the Cherry Creek school district, attempting to locate and contact students Sullivan may have been in touch with and see if there are any other victims in the district.
“We have an obligation to go there and make it part of a thorough and complete investigation,” said current Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Read the letter sent to former Sheriff Sullivan