Former Arapahoe County Sheriff Patrick Sullivan Jr. woke up Wednesday in his namesake jail after pleading guilty in a notorious meth-for-sex scandal.
Like any inmate, the 69-year-old Sullivan had to wait in a holding cell about seven hours to be booked into the Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. Detention Facility at 9:16 p.m. Tuesday, said current Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson.
"He was brought directly from the court about 2:30 p.m., but because we have a lot of people in the queue being booked, he was put in a holding cell and treated like any other inmate," Robinson said. "We typically have 25 to 50 people waiting their turn to be booked. He didn't receive any preferential treatment."
And like other inmates, Sullivan woke to a breakfast offering of hot cereal, potatoes, sausage patties and a small piece of coffee cake.
'Fall From Grace'
It was a high "fall from grace" -- as a sentencing judge put it -- for Sullivan, who served 18 years as Arapahoe County's top lawman until he retired in 2002.
Sullivan was named Sheriff of the Year in 2001 by the National Sheriffs' Association and also served on former President Bill Clinton's National Commission on Crime Prevention and Control in 1995.
Sullivan will be housed in administrative segregation, Robinson said.
"I don't necessarily want him in the general population, given the profile of the case," the sheriff said.
Sullivan may require medical treatment for his deteriorating health while in jail.
He needed a cane as he hobbled into court to learn his fate. He has had surgery on his back and a leg, and he's paralyzed in his lower-left leg, defense attorney Kevin McGreevy told the judge. He has also been treated for a staph infection in one leg.
Sullivan pleaded guilty to felony possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor solicitation of a prostitute.
Arrested In Meth-For-Sex Sting Operation
He was arrested in a sting operation last November after he he agreed to provide meth for sex with two men at an Aurora home, authorities said.
Arapahoe County Chief Judge William Sylvester immediately sentenced the legendary lawman to 38 days in jail with eight days credit for time served and two years supervised probation.
Yet Sullivan is scheduled to be released from jail after only 18 days on April 21. Under state law, all inmates are eligible for "good time" and typically released earlier than their sentenced time, Robinson said.
'Disgrace To The Badge'
During his sentencing, prosecutors portrayed Sullivan as a corrupted lawman who had descended into a sordid double-life.
Deputy Attorney General Michael Dougherty, calling Sullivan a manipulator who became "a disgrace to the badge," had asked the judge to impose prison or jail time. The prosecutor recounted that Sullivan said he might have had sex with underage boys while he was high on meth.
'I Am The Police'
In court records, witnesses said the ex-sheriff would flaunt his former role as sheriff as he treated a group of young, meth-addicted men as his personal wards, even taking them shopping.
When a man told Sullivan to leave his Centennial home or he would call police, he said Sullivan replied, "I am the police," and flashed a badge, according to a deputy's report.
His defense attorney urged the judge to place the case in context when sentencing Sullivan.
Struggled With Sexuality
On one hand, the defense attorney said, Sullivan is a former sheriff who achieved many accomplishments, McGreevy said. And on the other hand, Sullivan is a man who has struggled with his sexuality since he was a boy growing up in an Irish Catholic home in the 1940s.
Sullivan blamed no one but himself in court.
"I apologize to the court, the community and my family. There is no excuse for my behavior," Sullivan told the judge.
"I plan to seek forgiveness from those I have harmed," he said. "I want to move forward in my life in a positive direction."
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