Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin’s Fight for Justice

When two like-minded people join forces, the result is always fantastic. The birth and success of Village Voice Media are no different. Co-founded by Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, Village Voice is one of the most respected media conglomerates in the country.

Both founders come from humble backgrounds and neither finished college. They dropped out in the 70s to start their first paper called Phoenix New Times. New Times is currently still one of the top papers in Arizona. Recently, the paper and its executives made headlines as their battle against corruption came to an end.

Almost a decade ago, Lacey and Larkin were the victims of an enraged crooked sheriff. Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County took offense to the way New Times portrayed him as a cruel law enforcer. On October 18, 2007, he sent armed deputies to Lacey and Larkin’s homes to arrest.

The two men, not yet charged with anything, were forced from the homes and into unmarked SUVs that had Mexican license plates. They were then driven to two different jails, both managed by Arpaio, and booked for not cooperating with the sheriff’s office, which by that point was true.

It’s no secret that Lacey and Larkin disapproved of Arpaio as much as he hated them. New Times wrote numerous papers about Sheriff Arpaio’s consistent abuse of power. He rationalized that abuse by deeming himself “America’s Toughest Sheriff”. In reality, he’s just an anti-Mexican fear-monger with a taste of blood.

His hatred of Latinos is well documented in the New Times stories. It’s those stories that drove him to go after Lacey and Larkin. They refused to ignore his hate and abuse is what sparked his rage. Not only did they cite his anti-Latino attitude, they also talked his financial irregularities.

Driven mad by their stories, Arpaio used grand jury subpoenas to attack the executives and their paper. He tried to use legal authority to force them into submission. When they didn’t crack, he locked them away in his jails, hoping they’d never mess with him again.

Fortunately, he was wrong. Upon their release, they immediately filed a lawsuit against Maricopa County. Seeing as Sheriff Arpaio had no legal right to arrest and he violated their rights, Maricopa County had to pay the executives a $3.75 million settlement.

Read more: Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia and Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund

Comments are closed.