Two former newspapermen have released a response to the pardon of former sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio, who is regarded by many as one of the worst sheriff’s of recent memory, was pardoned by Donald Trump after he had been convicted by a judge for criminal contempt.
It’s believed that Trump pardoned him because he was one of Trump’s earliest supporters. He had also backed Trump’s ridiculous claims that former President Barack Obama hadn’t been born in Hawaii, in other words the birther conspiracy.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin ran an Arizona independent newspaper called Phoenix New Times. Around 10 years ago their newspaper had been publishing stories about Joe Arpaio such as a tent city he had created and called his very own “concentration camp”, inmates dying in his jails, and other disgusting things he had as sheriff.
Because of this Arpaio sent his deputies to their houses and had them both arrested in the middle of the night and hauled off in unmarked vehicles to one of his prisons. They were released the next day when the county’s prosecutor declined to press charges while under heavy pressure from the public to release them both.
As a result of these events, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey sued the county and successfully prevailed in their lawsuit. The court awarded them $3.75 million which the placed into the Frontera Fund. This money is now used to defend people across Arizona who have had their rights violated by those in government, especially migrants and other Hispanics.
In the aftermath of Arpaio receiving his pardon, Michael Lacey released a statement saying he agreed with something that Rex Tillerson had said. Namely, that Donald Trump is a complete idiot. The proof, he says, was Trump’s pardon of a person as utterly corrupt as Joe Arpaio.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s college campuses often had protests about the Vietnam War and other issues. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin had both attended Arizona State University during this time before they both dropped out. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427818/Michael_Lacey
The launched a free campus newspaper so that they could set the record straight about the protests, something that the established conservative newspapers of Phoenix had tarnished. Jim Larkin was the chief executive officer of the newspaper and Michael Lacey was the executive editor.
Over time, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin achieved a lot of success with the Phoenix New Times. They were able to build a national network of independent newspapers under the parent company they created, Village Voice Media.
Eventually, they had 17 newspapers in various large markets including New York City. In 2013 they sold it to a new ownership group, Voice Media Group, which was comprised of a number of longtime executives of their own company.
Lacey and Larkin have recalled the pardon of Arpaio a miscarriage of justice. They also called the relationship between Arpaio and Trump as one that marries two utterly corrupt people together. Both Trump and Arpaio have revealed themselves as racists and worse multiple times over the years.