Pat Sullivan: Jail named for accused meth-for-sex sheriff to keep name for now

After ex-Arapahoe County Sheriff Pat Sullivan's November arrest for allegedly trading meth for sex, he was jailed in a detention facility bearing his name. No wonder county commissioners soon began considering a policy forbidding the naming of public buildings after individuals, living or dead. But now, this conversation has been put on hold for two months. Why?

"We asked our staff to do some due diligence and research to come up with some potential policies for us to discuss at our public meeting" on January 31, says commissioner Rod Bockenfeld. But then, current Sheriff Grayson Robinson "came forward and addressed the board and asked that we postpone any action on that particular policy for sixty days."

Robinson didn't specifically address his reasoning. But since a preliminary hearing on Sullivan's case slated for that same day was delayed at the request of the Colorado Attorney General's Office, Bockenfeld speculates that his request was related to the case.

Because the naming policy didn't have an immediate impact on health or safety, Bockenfeld introduced a motion to continue the conversation for the sixty days Robinson mentioned, and fellow commissioner Bill Holen seconded it.

When the subject is raised again, the commissioners will be ready. As noted in a board summary on view below, most public buildings in Arapahoe County are named after recognizable areas, streets or business parks, while monikers of parks typically refer to geographical features, with a couple of notable exceptions: Richmil Ranch Open Space and Welsh Park. That means a new approach wouldn't lead to a lot of new handles -- just one for the Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. Detention Facility.

Bockenfeld synopsizes the options: "We can choose not to create a new policy, we can create a policy and have it be effective going forward about how buildings are named, or we could pass a policy of not naming buildings after people and have it be retroactive."

For more information, read the aforementioned summary, as well as the proposed naming policy assembled by the Arapahoe County staff.

Arapahoe County Naming Policy Board Summary Report

Arapahoe County Facilities Naming Policy: For Consideration January 31, 2012

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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Pat Sullivan: Tales of meth for masturbation, gay porn in bust of ex-Arapahoe sheriff (VIDEO)."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
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