Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, founders and former owners of independent rag Phoenix New Times, have some choice words to say about Trump’s pardon of Arpaio. The editorial duo kept, “America’s Toughest Sheriff” honest for the entire breadth of his tenure, exposing numerous scandals and shedding light on his unflattering treatment of the Latino community.
In the wake of his recent pardon, which equaled zero actual confinement time, many feel outraged and cheated. For Larkin and Lacey, it is but the beginning of a new chapter in and ever-continuing saga of discord. For those unfamiliar what follows is a brief history.
In 1970 college dropout Michael Lacey printed the foundational issue of the Phoenix New Times. The independent weekly starts rough but soon gains a readership.
Jim Larkin joins as head of advertising and the paper cements itself as a viable independent news source. In 1983 the paper purchases Denver weekly Westword beginning its trek to become a multi-million dollar conglomerate Village Voice Medea, with Larkin as CEO and Lacey has chief editor. In 1992 Sheriff Joe is elected to the first of four terms and the fun begins.
Lacey formed the New Times out of anger over the Kent State killings, so he was none to impressed with Arpaio and his overpublicized reform campaign. Under Larkin and Lacey’s stewardship the New Times begins to dog Arpaio, exposing numerous scandals, and peppering the clean face of his legacy with the acne of corruption.
The sheriff who many have referred to as a, “Media whore” is not too happy with the negative attention and begins singling the paper out. Arpaio bans New Times reporters from press conferences, and even goes as far as to get subpoenas to investigate the paper.
On October 18, 2007, the saga hits its climax with the arrest and incarceration of Larkin and Lacey.
The arrests came in response to the duo printing a full copy of one of the subpoenas under their byline. Their incarceration creates much outrage and the duo is released within the next 24 hours. 2007 also contained the beginning of the Melendres vs. Arpaio wherein the Sheriff was finally indicted for criminal contempt of court. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Michael Lacey | Twitter
At present Larkin and Lacey operate the Frontera Fund. An organization supporting Latino communities, and advocating migrant rights organizations, by using proceeds from the lawsuit the duo leveraged against Maricopa County for their arrests.
Although they sold Village Voice media back in 2012 they have ever been absent from the news world. This year Lacey and Larkin will return to the news front with a new website called Front Page Confidential.
Perfect timing considering the pardoned Arpaio is running for Senate. Although the law may not have held him accountable, Larking and Lacey most assuredly will. Whatever happens, the saga is set to continue with more veracity than ever. This time, however, Arpaio will not be able to arrest them.