October 18, 2007 Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin were forcibly removed from their Phoenix homes and arrested by Maricopa County deputies, and booked into two different Joe Arpaio’s jails.
Arpaio had heavily involved in the arrests of Lancey and Larkin. Phoenix New Times had reported on things that made Joe Arpaio angry. Some of these reports were about Financial mismanagement in the sheriff’s office, abuses of power, substandard health conditions in Arpaio’s jails, mistreatment and deaths of jail inmates, and much more.
Lacey and Larkin had covered a story for the Phoenix New Times that revealed an assault to the constitution. Allies of Arpaio’s at the Maricopa Attorney’s office issued grand jury subpoenas asking for details about the news papers writers, editors and readers. They even wanted personal browsing histories and IP addresses of their readers.
With help from a very loud national outcry both Lacey and Larkin were released less than 24 hours later and all charges dropped. The Ninth Circuit had made it clear that they were arrested without probable cause and that the subpoenas served on them had actually been invalid.
In 2013 Maricopa county paid a settlement to Lacey and Larkin for $3.7 million. That money went to the Frontera Fund, an initiative intended to benefit the Hispanic community that has received the brunt of racial animus and civil abuse in Arizona. Soon after receiving the money Lacey and Larkin quietly began handing out Frontera Fund money to worthy nonprofit advocates for Hispanic civil rights and causes.
Larkin and Lacey are Still Combating Joe Arpaio
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are the former co-owners of The Phoenix New Times. They first met each other in college, where they created a campus news letter to combat the school’s conservative views towards antiwar protests. 40 years later, the two are still getting under the skin of conservatives such as former sheriff Joe Arpaio.
While at the New Times, Lacey and Larkin were spearheading the efforts to expose Arpaio for his countless crimes committed against the citizens of Arizona. When the paper discovered that Arpaio had been hiding assets, Arpaio went on a campaign that eventually led to the unlawful arrest of Lacey and Larkin.
The journalists in turn, sued the county and were awarded a 3.75 million dollar restitution.
Now that the Joe Arpaio controversy is behind them, Larkin and Lacey have created two new organizations: The Frontera Fund and Front Page Confidential.
The Frontera Fund is a charitable organization that provides funds and resources to other charities. The focus of the Fund’s efforts are the Hispanic community. Frontera Fund works with dozens of other organizations to provide assistance, support and information to the immigrant community in Arizona.
Since the settlement, the two have sold the Phoenix New Times and started a brand new paper. Their new paper, Front Page Confidential, creates content centered around educating the population on civil, human, and migrant rights. The paper reports on instances of oppression and civil rights violations. Larkin and Lacey want to make sure actions similar to those of Arpaio never happen again.