ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. – Avoiding potentially sordid testimony in a criminal trial, former Arapahoe County Sheriff Patrick Sullivan pleaded guilty Tuesday to several charges of trading methamphetamine for sex.
Wearing a black pinstripe suit and using a cane, Sullivan, 69, stood before a judge and pleaded guilty to felony drug possession and soliciting a prostitute.
Charges of distribution of methamphetamine and attempting to influence a public servant were dropped.
In arguing for the maximum sentence, three years in prison, prosecutors cited an interview with Sullivan immediately after his arrest in which the former sheriff allegedly told police he may have engaged in sex with underage individuals.
Instead, after a brief hearing, the judge sentenced him to 38 days in jail, eight of which had already been served.
He also received two years of supervised probation.
“I apologize to the court, this community and my family,” Sullivan said in a brief statement. “There is no excuse for my behavior. I accept the court’s decision and I just want to move forward with my life.”
Sullivan was arrested in a sting operation on November 29, 2011 for allegedly trading methamphetamine to a man in exchange for sex. He was booked into a jail facility that bears his name, and later released on $50,000 bond.
Sullivan served as the Arapahoe County Sheriff from 1984 until his retirement in 2002. He was named national “Sheriff of the Year” in 2001.
He also served as head of security for Cherry Creek Schools after his retirement.
Tim Faase, who admits to selling drugs to Sullivan, was sentenced in March to three years in state prison.