Ex-Arapahoe County Sheriff Sullivan sentenced to 15 months

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CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Fifteen months in prison, that’s how long the former sheriff of Arapahoe County will spend in prison. Pat Sullivan pleaded guilty last month for leaving the state, a violation of his probation.

On Thursday, his defense attorney started his statement saying, “this is a sad day.”

The 71-year-old walked into court with a cane, and walked out in handcuffs. Sullivan’s critics say he had plenty of chances. “The defense’s argument for not taking the law serious was, well, I’m an old man, I don`t, my brother died and they`re not treating me fairly,” Jonathon Elinoff said. Elinoff is a private investigator and has been working on this case.

Sullivan was initially sentenced to 38 days in jail and probation after being busted in a meth-for-sex sting involving male prostitutes. “When a person in a position who has as much authority and power wears a gun and a badge, and corners young people, than that should be treated differently,” said Debbie Carroll. She’s been watching the case closely.

During his probation, Sullivan missed 36 drug tests and tested positive for meth and alcohol ten times. Elinoff said, “Because he campaigned so heavily against this stuff that he was involved in, he should be treated, in my opinion a little bit differently.”

Sullivan read a statement in court, asking for the public’s forgiveness and admitting that he has a drug problem. He also said the in-patient program that he’s undergoing is helping.

But Sullivan’s probation officer told the court that Sullivan is manipulative and dishonest, that he blamed his failed tests on everything from the weather to financial and medical problems.

Not everyone in court felt justice was served. Many said he should be held to a higher standard with stiffer penalties. “I think he should be, he’s a law officer said Thomas Alfieri.

The maximum penalty for leaving the state and violating his probation, which is a Class 6 Felony, was 18 months in prison.


  • Peter N.

    I was on probation nearly 20 years ago for a DUI and failed one drug test and they were going to throw me in jail. He has already received special treatment. I say lock him down.

  • Dan Cha

    This guy will be given a slap on the wrist and that’s it!
    Law and Order its only a theory and, an hour long show from make believe Hollywood…

  • alphaomega80537

    I’d laugh if he spilled the beans on all the other prominent people in and around Denver who are/were doing the same things he was. That’s the only reason they went easy on him the first time. He knows names. Just like the Denver Players and Denver Sugar people having Mayor Hancock’s info on file as a John, yet the Denver media didn’t even investigate. Shameful.

  • John Martin

    He’s a druggy. I wonder how he got that way. Colorado and the state controlled media religiously promotes the use of drugs on a daily basis. How is that good for our society? It is a fact that pot usage leads to the use of stronger drugs, or a gateway drug. I don’t think profiting off of peoples addictions is what a state government should be doing.

    • Lola

      Please provide a scientific source (not media based scare propaganda) for your ‘fact’.

      Around 53% of State and 45% of Federal prisoners met the DSM-IV criteria for drug abuse or dependence according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Would you like to discuss the state sponsorship of the for-profit prison system that has been making money from peoples addictions for far longer than marijuana has been legal in Colorado?

      Since you most likely won’t read this or bother to educate yourself if you happen to come back, here are a few actual facts:
      – The AMA states addiction “results from a complex interplay of biological vulnerability, environmental exposure, and developmental factors”. It is nowhere as simple as a ‘gateway drug’ like Nancy Reagan taught you.
      – The government funded National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) says more than 111 million Americans over the age of 12 had tried marijuana (which is counted as an illicit drug for federal purposes) at least once, yet the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration stated an estimated 20.6 million people were classified with substance dependence or abuse.
      – The 2011 NSDUH goes on to state: of the 20.6 million people 14.1 million people had dependence or abuse of alcohol but not drugs, 3.9 million had dependence or abuse of drugs but not alcohol, and 2.6 million were classified with dependence or abuse of both. It also lists another 48 million people ages 12 and older using prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons, but does not include them in the dependence/abuse figures.
      – Alcohol kills more than 88,000 people each year and is a factor in 40%-70% of all violent crimes today depending on the source and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) estimated that a majority of criminal offenders were under the influence of alcohol *alone* when they committed their crimes.

      Use your brain. Alcohol addiction and non-medical prescription narcotics use play a much, much bigger addiction role than anything the media says about pot.

  • B. Cummiskey

    He should have gone to prison a long time ago! Typical authorities turning their head and closing their eyes …..it’s who you know!! What a cover game!

  • gomer luther

    Now that the esteemed reporters have concluded this saga of governmental abuse, how about picking up the story of Jeff Lane, the former municipal judge in Castle Rock and in Parker, who was stinged by the short hairs for trying to pick up an underage male who just happened to be a cop posing as a child. This was dropped like a hot potato. Is it because his wife is a Arapco cty judge?
    The incident was around the third or fourth of March this year. He allegedly has taken up hiding up at Lake McConaughy in Neb. from the reports of some folks in that zip code.

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