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The founder and president of a major San Diego solar company that abruptly closed its doors last year was sentenced Wednesday to three years of probation for his admission that he stalked an ex-girlfriend.

Daniel Joseph Sullivan, 44, must also take part in an intensive drug and alcohol treatment program and attend domestic violence classes for a year. His movements will be monitored by GPS for at least 90 days.

Vista Superior Court Judge James Simmons handed down the sentence after Sullivan, founder and CEO of Sullivan Solar Power, pleaded guilty last month to a felony count of stalking. Should Sullivan violate any conditions of probation, he faces a possible three-year prison sentence.

Sullivan Solar was a leading installer of rooftop solar systems in the region when it shut down without warning in October, leaving work unfinished and customers stunned.

A few weeks later, Sullivan was arrested and charged with stalking his former girlfriend, who had obtained a restraining order in early 2021. He has remained jailed since his November arrest.

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Daniel Sullivan at his sentencing hearing in Superior Court in Vista on Wednesday.

Daniel Sullivan at his sentencing hearing in Superior Court in Vista on Wednesday.

(Rob Nikolewski/San Diego Union-Tribune)

Under the terms of the sentence, Sullivan must remain at least one mile from the victim’s residence and cannot make any contact with her.
Sullivan said very little in court but after the proceeding, his defense attorney, Vikas Bajaj, said Sullivan “feels a ton of remorse” for what happened.

“Mr. Sullivan clearly made a good impression upon the probation department and they ended up agreeing with the resolution we had reached,” Bajaj said.

Deputy District Attorney Christopher Campbell said the sentence includes “a lot of conditions of probation that (Sullivan) is going to have to abide by, including a domestic violence program, the GPS monitoring, that are going to protect the victim. And if he doesn’t abide by any this, he goes right to prison for three years.”

A mainstay in the San Diego rooftop solar business since 2004, Sullivan Solar Power abruptly locked the doors of its main office in Miramar last fall. The company did not return emails or telephone messages left by customers, some of whom had liens placed on their properties after installation work left unfinished.

As of Wednesday morning, a search of court records showed Sullivan Solar Power has not filed for bankruptcy.

In the weeks following Sullivan Solar’s closing, the Contractors State License Board — a division of California’s Department of Consumer Affairs — suspended Sullivan Solar Power’s license for “failure to comply with an outstanding civil judgment.” The suspension cited a case in which a homeowner in Jamul took the company to small claims court, won a $5,065 judgment in April but did not get paid.

The licensing board has issued five citations against the company in 2021 that totaled $19,000 for violations that included abandoning projects before they were completed, taking a down payment and not starting work, failing to pay “for materials or services after having received sufficient funds to do so” and not cooperating with an investigation.

Union-Tribune staff reporter Greg Moran contributed to this story.

Source: This post first appeared on sandiegouniontribune.com

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