Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, co-founders of Front Page Confidential and executives with the Village Voice, have a lot to say about former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Their longtime nemesis is no longer sheriff after losing his 2016 reelection bid to (D) Paul Penzone. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://james-larkin.com/about/ and http://james-larkin.com/press/
The bad blood between Arpaio and the newsmen goes back several years due to their hard-nosed reporting on the sheriff’s long history of wrongdoings and abhorrent behavior against immigrants and Hispanics.
Among Arpaio’s worst acts in his 24 years as Maricopa County Sheriff: the handcuffing pregnant inmates to beds while they give birth, unexplained prison deaths; making inmates live in the infamous tent city, where temperatures reached 120 degrees and racial profiling of Hispanic people. And that’s just the beginning.
There were also reports of gross financial mismanagement at Arpaio’s jails. He even went as far as enlisting the help of his sycophants at the attorney general’s office to issue subpoenas against readers of the Phoenix New Times and journalists.
Arpaio had gotten away with so much during his tenure as sheriff that it stands to reason that he thought he could get away with whatever he wanted. Wrong.
The duo penned a story about an upcoming grand jury investigation associated with Arpaio. The very next night, members of Arpaio’s Special Enforcement Unit came to their homes, placed them in the back of black SUVs and took them to jail.
Charges were quickly dropped against them.
What happened next served as a true testament to the lack of power Arpaio really wielded in the county. Larkin and Lacey filed lawsuits. After going through the court system for a few years, they were awarded $3.75 million in damages.
The court scolded Arpaio and his department for one of the most egregious acts of violating an individual’s First Amendment Rights.
Larkin and Lacey have used their settlement to do something that galls the hell out of Arpaio: open the non profit organization Frontera Fund to help fight against racism.
Both men are hoping that through education and awareness people will understand the plight of immigrants and the importance of acceptance.
Hispanics and others who have felt the wrath of Arpaio can take a bit of solace in the fact that his reign of terror is over.
However, just when it was thought that justice had caught up with the geezer, Donald Trump fixed that. He issued Arpaio a pardon for his misdeeds.
Lacey says he isn’t shocked by Trumps actions because they are two of a kind. Both men were in lockstep over the birther issue, spreading the falsehoods that Obama wasn’t born in America.