Ex-Colorado sheriff hit with more charges in drug case

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 02, 2011 8:53 PM
Ex-Colorado sheriff hit with more charges in drug case

By Keith Coffman

DENVER (Reuters) - A former Colorado sheriff accused of trading methamphetamine for sex was charged on Friday with additional counts of soliciting a prostitute and attempting to influence a public official, court documents showed.

Retired Arapahoe County Sheriff Patrick Sullivan, a onetime national "sheriff of the year," was arrested earlier this week after investigators said he attempted to exchange meth for sex with a male acquaintance.

The suggestion of a secret life led by the high-profile former sheriff has roiled the suburban Denver county where Sullivan was known as a hard-nosed lawman who served on a national law enforcement task force in the 1990s.

Two informants have told investigators that they had engaged in sex with Sullivan, 68, in exchange for drugs in the past, and one man agreed to set up a meeting with Sullivan for another encounter, authorities said.

Police placed audio and visual recording equipment inside a Denver-area house and arrested Sullivan after he allegedly handed over the drugs to the informant.

Sullivan is being held on a $500,000 bond in the very jail that was named after him when he retired in 2002.

Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson told Reuters the influencing a public servant charge stemmed from a September incident when a man called police to report that "an old guy" -- later identified as Sullivan -- was trying to get his roommates to use drugs and wouldn't leave his house.

When police responded, Sullivan falsely told officers that he was part of a statewide task force charged with rehabilitating drug users, Robinson said.

Investigators also are looking into whether Sullivan was engaged in illegal activity when he was in office, and whether any underage boys were involved, Robinson said.

Sullivan's attorney did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

(Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Cynthia Johnston)