The name Joe Arpaio has a strange effect on many in the U.S. as the very mention of his name can reveal much about the political ideology of an individual.
To conservatives, former Maricopa County Sheriff is something of a precursor to U.S. President Donald Trump and his views on immigrants entering from Mexico and further afield; the work of the man who styled himself as the “toughest sheriff in America” has placed him in direct conflict with the former owners of Village Voice Media, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin who have personally felt the wrath of Joe Arpaio. Read more: Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia and Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund
In 2018, the name of Joe Arpaio has once again made headlines after the former Arizona law enforcement official declared his desire to run for office as a Senate Representative for the state. This decision came after Arpaio was pardoned by President Trump towards the end of 2017, a decision recently upheld by the Supreme Court in a decision journalists Larkin and Lacey saw as an obvious one waiting to happen in the current political atmosphere.
Larkin and Lacey played a key role in bringing the actions of Sheriff Arpaio to the attention of the people of the Phoenix area of Arizona and the wider world through their own investigative reporting and that of their team at the Phoenix New Times. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/michael-lacey/ and http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427818/Michael_Lacey
The journalists were already well-respected in the journalism industry for their ownership of the Village Voice Media group when they published an investigation into the ownership of commercial properties by the Arpaio family worth an estimated $700,000 when the annual salary for the Maricopa Sheriff was just $78,000 in 2004.
The Phoenix New Times was just one of a nationwide chain of local newspapers owned by Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey which they recently sold and had already become a major part of the switch to news delivery Online with a strong subscription base.
After almost three years of investigations into the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department including revelations about a concentration camp style tent city holding prisoners, Larkin and Lacey were arrested when they published details of an illegal and unconstitutional subpoena served to them from Maricopa County.
The two journalists were eventually arrested in a third-world style operation conducted by plainclothes Maricopa County detectives in unmarked vehicles carrying Mexican license plates.
After their illegal imprisonment, the journalists were awarded $3.75 million in compensation which they used to establish the Frontera Fund fighting for the rights of immigrant groups along the U.S. border with Mexico.
The pardon of Joe Arpaio by Trump was met with scorn by both Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey as the two campaigners for minority group rights had expected the decision to be made and believe the former Sheriff had hung his hat with the President to ensure he received his pardon.
Before he was even sentenced, former Sheriff Arpaio was not expected to serve any jail time for his conviction of contempt of court which would lead to his loss of the position of Sheriff of Maricopa County after 24 years.