Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are the co-founders and top executives of Village Voice Media/Phoenix New Times. The pair founded the paper in 1970 as a response to the infamous shootings that took place at Kent State University earlier that year. Lacey and Larkin were at the center of a controversy involving former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. They were arrested on trumped up charges in October of 2007.
The arrests were a punitive measure by the sheriff’s department due to the Phoenix New Times relentlessly exposing numerous scandals perpetrated by Arpaio and his officers. The end result of this illegal arrest was the awarding of a 3.75 million settlement to Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin in December of 2013. Learn more about Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin: http://james-larkin.com/press/ and http://james-larkin.com/
The two dedicated this settlement money to their newly created Frontera Fund that is committed to funding migrant rights organizations in Arizona. Fast forward to 2017 and Joe Arpaio is found guilty of contempt of court after admitting to violating multiple court orders. He is scheduled to be sentenced to incarceration in October of the year.
Unfortunately, before Arpaio could face up to even a small amount of the justice he was due, he was inexplicably pardoned by President Donald Trump. The Phoenix New Times was quick to comment on this story that had many shaking their heads in disgust.
The Phoenix New Times Comments on the Trump Pardon:
Michael Lacey had some very choice words regarding President Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio – a man who many feel is guilty of so much more than what he was to be punished for, to begin with. Lacey is quoted as saying, “This is the perfect marriage of two corrupt individuals…This is a sheriff who advertised torture and racism. Read more: Jim Larkin | Angel.co and Jim Larkin | LinkedIn
God, look at the grim parade of corpses and mutilated bodies that came out of that jail of his.” Indeed, Lacey goes on to point out that Arpaio himself seemed to think of his jail as his own personal concentration camp. Michael goes on that “It’s a pretty stunning trail of evil. I don’t know how else you can describe that kind of behavior.”
There may be no two people more familiar with all the crimes committed by Arpaio’s department during his long tenure as Sheriff of Maricopa County than Lacey and Larkin.
From beatings to wrongful deaths and embezzlement of money by the department, this list goes on and on and further highlights the absurdity of Trump’s pardon of Arpaio. In the end, it is a huge miscarriage of justice.