It’s always a sad day to find out that people have been wrongfully arrested. It’s even worse when to find out that someone’s been wrongfully arrested because of a dirty cop. That’s something that Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin found out the hard way.
In 2007, both men were arrested in the middle of the night by armed officers. The two men were reporters currently running stories about a shady sheriff, Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Michael Lacey | Twitter
Wanting the stories to stop, Sheriff Arpaio orchestrated a ruse and had the men arrested. They’ve since been released and victoriously sued the county for $3.75 million. That victory led the two executives to create the Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund. The fund supports local migrant and human rights organizations.
The most alarming thing about Arpaio’s behavior was his determination to cover up the stories. He wanted all the notes and reports they had on him, and he wanted the names of any subscribers that had already read those articles. He was even using grand jury subpoenas to do his dirty work.
His blatant disregard for governmental regulation and citizen rights was appalling. Lacey and Larkin have been avid activists when it comes to defending the First Amendment.
Their suit against the county was about more than just money. It was about protecting basic American freedoms.
Everything about this story shocked the nation. The only crime Lacey and Larkin committed was refusing to submit to Arpaio’s power. Arpaio was comfortable in Arizona until Phoenix New Times began writing about him. No one else in the state cared about his behavior except for New Times.
They wrote about all the mysterious irregularities surrounding the sheriff. As more heat came down on him, he started going after the company. He used all his power to shut them down and have them arrested. He even went after their employees and associates. This only inspired the two reporters to stand strong.
Lacey is a construction worker’s son turned multimillion-dollar executive. He never thought that when dropped out of Arizona State, that he’d be leading a multimillion-dollar media conglomerate.
His entire career started with one paper he wrote in the 70s about misrepresented campus antiwar protests.
As for Larkin, his was inspired by Lacey. Both were dropouts who co-founded Phoenix New Times. Their paper became a booming business with several divisions covering several subjects.
It’s hard for Larkin and Larkin to believe that his career started out a small weekly campus paper.