The article “The Enduring Sins of Joe Arpaio: Newspapermen Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin Speak Out in Response to Donald Trump’s Pardon of America’s Worst Sheriff” on phoenixnewtimes.com discusses the reaction of newspaper tycoons Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin to Arpaio’s recent pardon.
This issue has been brought back into the spotlight after a US District Judge, Susan Bolton, chose to uphold the pardon issued by Pres. Donald Trump on Arpaio behalf.
While the news that Bolton would uphold the pardon is not really all that surprising, the pardon in the first place was a very low blow for many immigrants residing in Arizona. This is especially true because Arpaio was in contempt of a court ruling issued after a class action lawsuit against his department for stereotyping his citizens and harassing the migrant population.
After he lost this lawsuit Arpaio was ordered to cease his practices, overhaul his department, and act under the supervision of a court monitor. He failed to do these things and was charged with contempt, which Trump pardoned him for.
Lacey explains that he never thought Arpaio would serve a day in jail. He believed that the former Sheriff’s political acumen would save him from himself. While Arpaio was widely known to be corrupt and brutal, he was also known to be a brilliant politician. Lacey explains that while Arpaio doesn’t deserve credit for anything, he’s good at creating safety nets for himself. 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/michael-lacey/
When Donald Trump first threw his hat into the political ring Arpaio met him with massive support. This political support would pay back in dividends later when Arpaio was charged with contempt. Lacey sees Arpaio as the political monster that he is and knew that there was no way he was going to prison.
The reason Lacey feel so strongly about Arpaio is that he and his co-founder Jim Larkin had a significant run in with him in October of 2007. One of the reporters at the Phoenix New Times had discovered that Arpaio held a piece of land valued at over $700,000, which was kind of strange considering that Arpaio only made $78,000 a year as Sheriff. Read more: Jim Larkin | LinkedIn and Village Voice Media | Wikipedia
Arpaio had taken advantage of a law that allows officials to redact their names from real estate documents, but his home address was well-known. Throughout the course of publishing his home address was posted online as it had been linked with the other property, leading to the issuance of an overbroad subpoena.
When Larkin and Lacey posted details of that subpoena in their newspaper they were arrested. After their release, they sued the county and a judge found that Arpaio’s Police Department had violated their human rights.
Larkin and Lacey won $3.75 million from the lawsuit which they used to create the Larkin and Lacey Frontera fund. This fund is specifically geared towards helping the migrant population of Arizona through good socially conscious programs.
Larkin and Lacey wanted to use that money to give back. While Arpaio was able to get away with his crimes, his legacy will not continue to blemish the Arizona population, Larkin and Lacey are fighting back with charity.