To say that Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey are disappointed with the President of the United States, Donald Trump’s, decision to pardon former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio, is an understatement.
Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, widely known for their string of successful publications, including the Village Voice, LA Weekly, and Miami New Times, have had an ongoing feud with the controversial sheriff for a number of years, spanning nearly as far back as 1992, when Arpaio was elected.
Ironically, it was the content of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey’s publications that caused Sheriff Joe Arpaio to cross the line in a manner that would spell doom for his career as a public official. After years of dust-ups between Joe Arpaio and the newspaper duo, the polarizing sheriff decided to have them arrested, allegedly accusing them of releasing information regarding an ongoing grand-jury case.
The two were arrested in their homes, kicking off a five-year odyssey that would eventually see Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey victorious. While the issues between Sheriff Arpaio, Jim Larkin, and Michael Lacey played an integral role in the ultimate downfall of one of the nations most controversial figures, many of his other misdeeds were also highly publicized. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/5-smart-ways-people-and-places-are-resisting-trumps-immigration-policies/ and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/jim-larkin/
During his time as the Sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio had been accused of discriminatory practices regarding minorities, particularly of Latino origin, as well as overseeing “tent city,” which was more reminiscent of a concentration camp than a county jail. In the end, despite ultimately being pardoned by the President of the United States, Joe Arpaio was defeated.
Not only was Joe Arpaio not reelected as Sheriff of Maricopa County, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were awarded a $3.75 million settlement. The victorious newspapermen would use the monies garnered from their war with Joe Arpaio to create the Frontera Fund, which is a nonprofit organization that focuses on guaranteeing the rights of immigrants and migrants.
In 1970, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey would create the Phoenix New Times as a result of the biased coverage of the Vietnam War that was available on the campus of Arizona State University. At the time, Michael Lacey had already dropped out of school but decided to use two students to help him get the project off the ground.
Jim Larkin would come on as Michael Lacey’s business partner, and by 1983, the duo would acquire Westword and be well on their way to prominence. After acquiring Westword, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey would pick up an additional 17 publications, including LA Weekly, Miami New Times, and the Village Voice.
This expansion would transform their company into a worldwide conglomerate that is, still, today, highly regarded for its in-depth investigative reporting, magazine-style writing, and the myriad of honors and recognitions received by its publications.
In 2012, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey sold their stake in the companies to several longtime executives. Today they are actively involved with the Frontera Fund and are thriving in a number of new media outlets.