Ex-Colo. sheriff Patrick Sullivan pleads guilty in meth-for-sex case

Former Arapahoe County Sheriff Patrick Sullivan is seen in an undated photo provided by the Arapahoe County, Colo., Sheriff's Office.
AP Photo/Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office
Former Arapahoe County Sheriff Patrick Sullivan
AP Photo/Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office

(CBS/AP) CENTENNIAL, Colo. - Patrick Sullivan, a former Colorado sheriff known for his crusade against youth drug use, pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of trading methamphetamine for sex.

Sullivan was sentenced to 38 days in jail, with credit for eight days already served, and two years of probation for felony possession of methamphetamine and a misdemeanor count of solicitation for prostitution. He must pay $1,100 in penalties.

Sullivan was the sheriff in Arapahoe County from 1984 until 2002, when he resigned to become security director of the Cherry Creek School District. He retired from the district in 2008.

The 69-year-old was arrested after a sting operation last year in which investigators say he offered methamphetamine to a man in exchange for sex. He was held in custody in a jail that was named after him.

Charges of distribution of methamphetamine and attempting to influence a public servant against him were dismissed.

The defense told the judge Sullivan had a stellar record during his 19 years as sheriff and his position shouldn't be used against him, reports CBS Denver. But prosecutors argued Sullivan disgraced the badge and used his authority to commit criminal activity.

Sullivan apologized Tuesday in court and said there is no excuse for his behavior.

"I plan to seek forgiveness from those I have harmed," Sullivan said, seated at a table. "I want to move forward in my life in a positive direction."

According to CBS Denver, Sullivan has had surgery on both legs and his lower left leg is paralyzed. He used a cane in court.

Last month, a man accused of supplying methamphetamine to Sullivan was sentenced to three years in prison. Timothy Faase pleaded guilty to possessing more than 2 grams of a controlled substance. Faase was arrested after police followed Sullivan to his home.

More on Crimesider:
December 1, 2011 - Ex Colo. sheriff Patrick Sullivan arrested in drugs-for-sex sting, held in jail named for himself