A reader* email this week brought me up to date on the sordid doings in Arapahoe County, Colorado and the case of meth-addicted, sex-addled 69-year old Ex-sheriff Patrick Sullivan “who does the crime but not the time“ after pleading guilty in an unimaginable meth-for-sex case.
But what’s just as unbelievable is that for felony drug possession and soliciting a prostitute, Sheriff Sullivan will get just 30 days of which he’ll only serve 18 days in the jail that was named for him back when he was Colorado’s iconic paragon of law enforcement rectitude and not guilty of the “sinister abuse of his lingering image of authority.”
Sullivan spent 18 years as Arapahoe County Sheriff and it’s the height of irony that he will serve his all-too brief jail time in the “Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. Detention Facility.” So much for the untimely prudence of naming public buildings after people who’re still treading above-ground and still able to get into ignominious trouble. Will the local solons be renaming their jail anytime soon?
And oh, yeah, Sheriff ‘Pat’ will also be on 2 years probation and pay a $1,100 fine. So much for ‘tough on crime’ in Colorado.
Pez Dispenser of Justice.
All Judge Baumgartner had to do to get his wrist so gently stroked was to plead guilty to official misconduct, a lower level Class “E” felony. And with judicial diversion, the jurist won’t do any time and best of all, his record will be expunged after 2 years. Such a deal – - – giving credence to the wisdom that when you’re traipsing in low places, it’s good to have friends in high places.
So what were the judge’s alleged offenses? The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s 155 page investigative report discloses “Baumgartner’s addiction to prescription painkillers while he presided over four state trials and guilty verdicts in the kidnapping, rape and killing of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom while trysting in his office, cutting drug deals with felons on a taxpayer-funded cell phone and snorting pain pills with a former Drug Court probationer. “ Also see the “Daily Mail” news report, “Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner was ‘addicted to drugs for years, had sex during court breaks and bought pills from convict he’d sentenced”
How does stuff like this happen? A good explanation, “Court of secrecy: How Richard Baumgartner, a drug-addicted judge, stayed on the bench despite warnings,” comes courtesy of a comprehensive “Knoxville News Sentinel“ investigation revealing how questions about the judge’s sobriety and lifestyle had swirled about but been ignored for years.
Tennessee State Senator Mae Beavers who says “Attorneys know the most about bad judges” thinks the way to fix a ‘see no evil’ mindset is to help attorneys feel comfortable filing complaints against judges without fear of blowback or retribution.
But in the meantime, because of endemic willful ignorance, “hundreds of cases could be at risk, and Knox County’s judicial system is in a state of turmoil as a result.” Also see “Judge was an addict; now ‘it’s raining’ appeals.”