Sullivan, who in 2001 was named the National Sheriff Association's "Sheriff of the Year," was arrested on suspicion of trafficking methamphetamines.
Local news station CBS4 began an investigation of Sullivan last month on a tip that he had agreed to meet a male informant, providing drugs in exchange for sex. He was subsequently arrested by the South Metro Drug Task Force and is currently being held on a $250,000 bond.
And in an incredible twist of fate, Sullivan now cooling his heels at The Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. Detention Facility, named in his honor.
"The allegations of criminal behavior involving Pat Sullivan are extraordinarily disturbing," said Grayson Robinson, Arapahoe County's current sheriff. "While the arrest of the former sheriff is very troubling, no one, and particularly a former peace officer, is above the law. This is the most shocking thing I've ever been involved with."
Sullivan, 68, has been retired for nine years, but had been serving as director of safety and security for Cherry Creek Schools.
"This is a very sad time for the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office and our community," Robinson said. The CBS4 report also found that for several years Sullivan has posted bond for multiple suspects held in drug cases at jail facilities across the state.
As recently as 2008, Sullivan was an active participant in state and local methamphetamine task forces, helping Colorado draft a plan to deal with the surge in meth-related crime.
In 1995 President Bill Clinton named Sullivan to the National Commission on Crime Prevention and Control. According to a 1995 White House news release, Sullivan was a consultant to U.S. House Subcommittee on Crime and served on two advisory councils affiliated with the Department of Justice.