Lacey and Larkin Vs Arpaio: The Sequel
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin have a lot to say about the pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and none of it is nice. The co-founders and former owners of Phoenix New Times clashed with “America’s Toughest Sheriff” on many occasions. During his 24-year tenure as Sheriff, New Times reporters relentlessly shadowed Arpaio.
Lacey and Larkin’s stewardship saw the exposure of many scandals, forever tainting Arpaio’s legacy with controversy. Having born the paper out of social injustice, creating it as a response to the Kent State killings in the 70’s, the duo saw it as their duty to keep tabs on Arpaio. Now years after selling the New Times, the newspapermen are back, offering their insight into Arpaio’s release.
A amalgamation of crooked individuals, this is Michael Lacey’s opinion of the pardon. Acknowledging that the pardon was nothing more than political pandering, Lacey expressed hope that the decision would ultimately hurt Trump.
Lacey, a drop out from Arizona State University, has been championing free speech since the 70’s. Following the outrage of the Kent State killings, Lacey founded the New Times to respond to the conservative narrative. Jim Larkin, a fellow drop out, came onboard in 1972 to handle advertising.
The paper grew from a struggling independent weekly, to a campus tradition, garnering a following that grew stronger every year. The paper fought the establishment for years, and then finally began butting heads with Arpaio when he took office in 1992. The grudge between the two grew until it finally erupted past words.
Arpaio ended up banning Phoenix New Times reporters from press meetings. Nevertheless, that did not stop the digging. When a story published by the New Times divulged Arpaio’s address, he responded by seeking prosecution for the reporter. Read more: Michael Lacey | Twitter and Michael Lacey | LinkedIn
Arpaio served the paper with subpoenas, and their response was to publish a story outlining the subpoena in complete detail. Disclosing a grand jury matter publicly is considered a criminal act, so Arpaio arrested the founders on October 18, 2007.
They were in jail for a total of 24 hours. The outrage sparked by the arrests led to their release. Larkin and Lacey sued Maricopa County, and received a $3.75 million dollar payout in 2013. The duo used the money to form the Lacey and Larkin Fronterra Fund, which distributes the settlement to struggling Latino families across Arizona.
Arpaio plans to run for Senate, announcing his candidacy following his pardon by Trump. With the former Sheriff walking back into the spotlight, many eyes turned to Lacey and Larkin. They were not disappointed. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/new-times-founders-helping-fund-latino-program-at-asu-journalism-school-6661821 and http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/immigration/2014/12/16/proceeds-arpaio-suit-fund-asu-journalism-chair/20480479/
The newsmen are returning as well, founding a website dedicated to the First Amendment, that will launch this year. The site is called Front Page Confidential, and will operate under Lacey and Larkin’s stewardship.
The stage is set for a sequel, and this one may end up being better than the original. One thing is for sure, Arpaio will find his Senate run as dogged as his tenure as Sheriff.