Jim Larkin admits that former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is a great politician. Through his backing of Donald Trump, Arpaio was able to secure a pardon of his expected 6-month sentence.
However, its clear that this is the only thing that Larkin or his long-term business partner, Michael Lacey, respects about Arpaio. Their paper, New Times had been covering the exploits of this six-term Sheriff for years and they were horrified by what they saw.
Prisoners were fed rotten food, deprived of their medication, forced to spend extended periods of time in 135-degree heat and suffocated with restraints. The amount of tyranny this jail had seen was beyond compare.
So when it came to the Melendres v. Arpaio class-action suit that found Arpaio guilty of racial profiling on a grand scale, and later in contempt of court, 6 months was the least that he deserved as far as these two journalists were concerned.
But their feelings were far from removed, as they too had personally experienced the wrath of Sherriff Joe Arpaio. In one of their articles, their investigative reporter exposed the fact that the Sherriff, who earned roughly $78,000 per year, owned over $700,000 in commercial property which he was concealing at the time. The article also detailed the Sheriff’s home address.
Arpaio was enraged. Not only had the paper exposed his secret, but they had also listed his personal address. And this was just the ammunition that the Sheriff had likely been waiting for.
He had often banned the New Times Reporter from his press conferences and threatened them with arrest, but he had never had so concrete of evidence to put the publication to an end. Arpaio seized the opportunity, and after 3 years of diligence, he managed to set a court date for the reporter.
However, Lacey and Larkin didn’t intend to take this lying down. On the day of the trial, they published an article entitled, “Breath Taking Abuse of the Constitution” in which they detailed the unconstitutionality of the subpoena they received.
They even went so far as to publish its exact contents. This created an even bigger storm as Arpaio’s detective promptly arrested the two journalists, sending plainclothed men in unmarked cars to handcuff them and take them to jail. Read more: Jim Larkin | Angel.co and Jim Larkin | LinkedIn
Within little time, the news spread and was published in multiple widely known publications. The response was so massive that the Maricopa County attorney closed the case and the two were awarded a large settlement.
Though Larkin and Lacey no longer own the New Times, nor any of its 17 other sister publications, they still have a passion for the truth. And this is evident in their new website, Front Page Confidential, a publication dedicated to free speech.
Larkin and Lacey also put their $3.75 million settlement towards a worthy cause. They used it to start their own fund–the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund. It’s dedicated to supplying grants to organizations who fight for migrant-rights. They service the entire state of Arizona.