Patrick Sullivan was such a popular sheriff that Arapahoe County renamed the jail after him when he retired. Sullivan, arrested on drug charges this week, is now an inmate in the the Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. Detention Facility.
The former top cop in Arapahoe County, which includes Littleton, Colo., is facing charges that he planned to distribute methamphetamine after police found him allegedly offering to trade the drug for sex with a man.
Sullivan, 68, who served as sheriff from 1984 to 2002, was arrested on Tuesday.
“I was saddened by the allegations and very disappointed,” Grayson Robinson, the current Arapahoe County sheriff, told ABCNews.com. “First and foremost we have a greater purpose here and that is to be able to serve our community. No one, including a law enforcement officer, is above the law.”
During his time as sheriff, Sullivan won the distinction of being the 2001 National Sheriff’s Deputy of the Year and took on a role in a methamphetamine policy-making task force that provided recommendations to the state legislature.
“He served the community well,” Robinson said.
Former Arapahoe County District Attorney Jim Peters, who worked with Sullivan, told the Denver Post the allegations against Sullivan are “totally out of character.”
“He was completely ethical, upright and honest,” Peters told the newspaper. “He just oozed honesty and integrity. He was an outstanding sheriff.”
After retiring from law enforcement in 2002, the jail was renamed after him and Sullivan went on to become the director of safety and security for Cherry Creek Schools. He retired from the school district in 2008.
Sullivan is being held on $500,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 5.
There is no word yet from the City Commissioner whether there are plans to rename the jail.