Former US Sheriff of the Year jailed in drugs-for-sex case

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Patrick Sullivan, who was given the US National Sheriffs' Association's (NSA's) Sheriff of the Year award in 2001, has been sentenced to a month in prison. Sullivan was sent to the Colorado jail named in his honor for offering men drugs in exchange for sex.

Handcuffs, from file.

The 69-year-old was Arapahoe County's resident sheriff until his 2002 retirement. He has testified on police work before the Congress and then-President Bill Clinton placed him on the National Commission on Crime Prevention and Control in 1995, one of a number of national appointments. The Arapahoe County jail was renamed after him upon his retirement.

In actions Michael Dougherty, prosecuting, termed "a disgrace to the badge", Sullivan last year gave methamphetamine to two male prostitutes in exchange for sex. He was filmed in a sting operation and later admitted the offences of using and distributing methamphetamine, and soliciting a prostitute. Informants assisted the police and Sullivan was arrested last November.

Sullivan, who spent eighteen years as a sheriff, was given 30 days in prison, plus eight days he has already served. He is to pay $1,000 and must undergo a substance abuse programme. He pleaded guilty and said in court Tuesday "I apologise... There is no excuse for my behavior."

Aaron Kennard, Executive Director of the NSA, said the events were "disheartening and devastating". Sullivan's lawyer is reported to have told the court Sullivan has had difficulty with his sexuality.