The ex-Sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio, was recently granted a presidential pardon by Donald Trump, and as the ruling was just announced by District Judge Susan R. Bolton, it is now official.
Throughout his career, which lasted twenty-four years, Joe Arpaio supported and participated in a number of unethical practices, often coming into direct conflict with the citizens of his own county.
Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, the former heads of New Times Media, as well as their first publication, Phoenix New Times, have been two of the former sheriff’s most outspoken critics, often publishing articles that discussed his many constitutional violations. When speaking to the media, Michael Lacey called Donald Trump’s decision, “a marriage of two corrupt individuals.”
The feud between the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and the two newspapermen at the helm of the New Times Media empire culminated into a physical meeting when Joe Arpaio ordered his deputies to arrest them at their homes. As this act was a supreme violation of Larkin and Lacey’s constitutional rights, the charges were quickly dropped.
Larkin and Lacey would file a lawsuit for their unlawful arrest and would spend the next three years battling the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department, coming out victorious when all was said and done. They later used the $3.75 million settlement to begin the Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund.
The political climate of the United States in 1970, was one rife with tension and violence. Protests denouncing the war in Vietnam were growing in numbers, affecting campus life in every major city in the nation.
The Kent State shootings, which resulted in the loss of life for four students, with nine additional injuries, was the spark that pushed Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey to involve themselves in the battle, using their writing.
Michael Lacey, joined by Frank Fiore, Karen Lofgren, and Hal Smith, launched the first Issue of Phoenix New Times in 1970, immediately making a name for themselves in the fast-developing world of alternative news media.
Jim Larkin, who had a wife and children, as well as another job, would join the team later, immediately taking charge of the marketing direction of the news publication. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427818/Michael_Lacey and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/jim-larkin/
As their visibility grew, thanks to several companies, in particular, J.C. Penny, running ads with them, and they began implementing new sections, including a personals column, as well as satirical comic strips.
Honky Tonk Sue, the creation of Bob Boze Bell, immediately drew in a new audience for Phoenix New Times, and after surviving a number of difficult situations, the company began to flourish in the 1980’s.
The first major acquisition for New Times Media was the purchase of a news-and-arts weekly in Denver, CO, Westword, which had been created in 1977 by Patricia Calhoun.
After this initial purchase, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey’s company began a consistent period of acquisition, bringing notable publications such as LA Weekly, OC Weekly, Nashville Scene, Miami New Times, and Village Voice, under the New Times Media imprint.