Little did Larkin and Lacey know that they would be the headlines of one of their own publication.
When the investigative reporter for the New Times exposed sheriff Joe Arpaio for concealing commercial property and misappropriating $700,000 in jail funds, he called the reporter into court in attempts to have him prosecuted for making his personal address available to the public. According to Arpaio, this was a threat to his personal safety. Learn more about Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin: https://about.me/michael-lacey and https://michael-lacey.com/
The Maricopa Country Sheriff had often had runs in with the New Times. And it had gotten to the point that he had permenantly banned them from his press conferences and had threatened to have them arrested.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin’s publication was known for airing out the misdeeds of the sheriff. They had covered the dire conditions of his jail, ranging from rotted food to severe beating, wrongful deaths, and suicides.
And even still, on the day of the investigative reporter’s trial, the two reprimanded the sheriff for taking actions that they deemed unconstitutional. They went so far as to include the subpoena that they had received from him. However, within no time, the sheriff had them arrested for revealing grand jury secrets.
The case went national, with huge publications covering the story such as USA Today and the New York Times, and most who read them showed a support for the journalists. In fact, the public outcry was so great that they had no other choice than to release them, with the Maricopa county attorney claiming that the arrest was improper. They received a settlement of $3.75 million.
Larkin and Lacey used their settlement to provide grants for organizations that help to support the cause of migrant workers. And though they no longer own the New Times or any of their other 17 publications, they continue their fight for justice and free speech. In fact, their newest publication is called the Font Page Confidential–one that deals with obstacles of the first amendment.
Joe Arpaio, who served as the sheriff for Maricopa County for over 24 years is no longer sheriff. In fact, eventually, a class action would be brought against him for the racial profiling of Latino citizen, for which they were awarded $70 million.
Judge Snow referred to his actions as racial profiling on a grand scale. And after the judge asked him to make changes, Arpaio was found in contempt of court and was scheduled to serve at least 6 months in jail.
However, he never served a day of this time. During the elections, Arpaio threw his support behind Donald Trump when very few would. And this is who would eventually pardon the former sheriff. Larkin claims that this is part of Arpaio’s political genius at work. Read more: Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia and Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund
In fact, his political prowess is the only things that they claim to respect about him. The two also believe that president Donald Trump only pardoned Arpaio as a means to get the support and votes of others who thought like the former sheriff-namely people who are considered to be nationalists.