Micheal Lacey and Jim Larkin are no strangers to controversy or to championing the First Amendment. In a recent piece done by Stephen Lemons for the Front Page Confidential, Lacey and Larkin looked back on their infamous battle with the world’s self-proclaimed toughest sheriff, Joe Arpaio. The FrontPageConfidential is a website that the pair started in their latest attempt to bring truth and clarity about such figures as Arpaio.
Lacey and Larkin’s battles with Arpaio are well documented, dating back to his election to Sheriff of Maricopa County in 1992. Arpaio is infamous for such egregious actions as having women give birth while being shackled to their bed or his consistent bad treatment of migrants and immigrants in his county. This is not even to mention the unknown number of detainees that died in his jails.
All of these injustices were documented in the Phoenix New Times, a subsidiary of Village Voice Media. At the time, Michael Lacey was the executive director of the media group and Jim Larkin was the CEO. The New Phoenix Times was created to counterbalance the conservative publications with some liberal observations and reporting. The paper was not shy about putting a spotlight on Sherrif Arpaio and his department. Read more: Michael Lacey | Crunchbase and Jim Larkin | LinkedIn
The battle between the two businessmen and Arpaio came to a climax on October 18th, 2007. Lacey and Larkin were unceremoniously arrested at their respective homes and booked into jail. The charges stemmed from an article they had published that day, exposing a grand jury attempt to investigate Lacey, Larkin, The New Phoenix Times and even its readers.
The charges were obstruction of justice but after the arrests garnered attention worldwide, the County Attorney hastily dropped the case at a news conference the following day.
Unfortunately for Arpaio and Maricopa County, Lacey and Larkin were not satisfied with just a press conference. They sued and in 2012, the pair was awarded $3.75 million dollars in compensation from the county.
Lacey and Larkin were determined to continue the fight for the protection of the First Amendment and for the rights of migrants and immigrants, so they used the money to create The Frontera Fund. This Fund works to provide support and advocates for the rights of minorities everywhere.
The karma for Arpaio took a little longer but last year, he lost a bid to be re-elected for the 7th time and he was finally brought to justice with the Melendres versus Arpaio court case. Arpaio would be charged with contempt of court for his refusal to change his policies in the treatment of Hispanics and other minorities. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://about.me/michael-lacey and http://www.phillypurge.com/2017/06/23/jim-larkin-michael-lacey-make-the-list-of-civil-rights-protectors/
President Trump ended any chance that Arpaio would do any jail time when he pardoned the Sherrif with no time served. Arpaio, a long time supporter of Trump saw his loyalty pay off. He remains defiant and just recently, he called Mexicans “dirty” and claimed he was proud to be called a member of the KKK.
Lacey and Larkin are not deterred by the pardon, although they are disappointed. They will continue to fight against injustices with the Frontera Fund and the new website, Front Page Confidential.