Written by Brian Maass

DENVER (CBS4) – Several methamphetamine users say former Arapahoe County Sheriff Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. repeatedly provided them with methamphetamine, which they smoked, sometimes at Sullivan’s home.

“We have all been at his house while his wife was gone, sitting in his garage smoking dope,” said William Hadley, a meth user and close associate of the former Sheriff. “I mean we’ve sat at Cheesman Park in his (Sullivan’s) SUV and smoked the F— out of a lot of dope.”

His comments were videotaped by Jonathan Elinoff, a producer for radio talk show host Tom Martino. The tapes were obtained by CBS4 Nov. 23.

Authorities arrested the 68-year-old former sheriff Tuesday afternoon at an Aurora home after they say he attempted to trade methamphetamine for a sex act from a male acquaintance.

Sullivan is being held on $500,000 bail in the Arapahoe County Jail, which is named after the retired sheriff. He is being held on a single felony drug distribution count, but current Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson says more charges are expected.

“Pat has bought dope for several people I do know,” Hadley said, “to help get them in the mood.”

Hadley acknowledged performing a sex act in front of Sullivan.

“I (masturbated) in front of him at his request,” Hadley said.

Hadley said he met Sullivan through friends in 2006. The two became close, with Sullivan alternately helping Hadley and providing him and others with illegal drugs.

“He buys them drugs in order for them to take their clothes off. That’s the power he has over them, their addiction,” said a second man interviewed by Elinoff on videotape about Sullivan.

The 29-year-old man told Elinoff Sullivan met gay young men at Denver’s Cheesman Park. He said he met Sullivan when he was a teenager.

“Did Sullivan ever try to take advantage of you?” the man is asked.

“Yes,” he responded.

“How old were you?”

“Fourteen or 15,” the man said.

Sullivan has declined media requests for an interview.


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.

pat sullivan1 Former Arapahoe Co. Sheriffs Daughter Talks About Drug Trafficking AllegationsPat Sullivan (credit: CBS)

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.

Comments (4)
  1. denvervet says:

    Still unreal, I feel like I am in the Twilight Zone or something. It just gets worse and worse. What about the stuff we’ll never learn about? Sick.

  2. John says:

    Still can’t believe no charge for solicitation.
    That is exactyly what he did?
    There is no difference between offering valuable meth to a male than offering money to a female.
    Both fall within the definition of soliciting.
    Now then if any of these guys turn out to have been minors at the time drugs were given or sex was performed the sheriff has a real serious problem.
    By the way why does it shock people that a sheriff could commit such a crime?
    Do you really think these people are any better than anybody else because they are a sheriff or a cop?
    We have high profile athletes, priests, Judges, Senators, Congressman, PRESIDENTS, Governors, Mayors, Clergy, and a variety of other high ranking people who have done illegal things.
    The favorite target seems to be Catholic priests and teachers.
    At least when they are involved there is no bribery involved.
    In teachers cases the students are usually guiltier than the teacher but our society refuses to recognize that.
    Why does it surprise you that Pat Sullival allegedly did this?
    Did it surprise you that Bill Clinton did his thing?
    How about Judge Nottingaham and his drinking? (there was more to that I bet)
    Eliot Spitzer? John Edwards?
    The list goes on and on, some things were illegal and some were just morally wrong.
    The bottom line is there is no telling who may be doing what.
    Seems pretty unfair to me that the good sheriff was a real crusader against crime yet was one of the worst offenders.
    It sure makes it difficult to have an ounce of respect for our elected officials and our law enforcement and judicial system.
    Look what’s going on in Washington?
    It will be good for the sheriff to see what he did to so many others as his life behind bars progresses.
    Maybe all the people he dumped on with no concern for them or their family can send him a post card and see what he thinks now?

  3. Migrant3 says:

    This former sheriff has become a real poster boy for all sheriffs (and all law enforcement officers) across the country. Every time a citizen sees a police officer, they wonder about the integrity of the officer.

  4. Tiffany Olson says:

    Was Chief Brennan from Wheat Ridge involved in the scandal?