In Arizona last month, in an act that shocked few, U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton officially condoned Donald Trump’s pardoning of Joe Arpaio, Maricopa Counties former sheriff.
Arpaio was convicted in July on charges of criminal contempt for disregarding a federal judge’s injunction arising from his 2007 racial-profiling prosecution. The pardon arose weeks prior to his sentencing.
Bolton’s ruling ends the newest chapter of the long-time Arpaio story, which a decade ago this autumn included the notorious arrests of past Phoenix New Times owners Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey.
Under Larkin and Lacey’s leadership, The New Times constantly exposed scandals punctuating the Arpaio’s two dozen year term. Ten years after being imprisoned by the sheriff, Lacey offered a succinct assessment of his lasting adversary. Lacey stated “Trump is a moron and his pardon of Joe Arpaio proves it,”
The son of a craftsman, Michael Lacey grew up in Newark, N.J. He moved west in the 60s and attended Arizona State University. Michael Lacey dropped out in 1970, and he and a couple of classmates published the first issue of The Phoenix New Times in response to conventional local media’s coverage of the antiwar protests on campus.
Jim Larkin dropped out of Arizona State University as well and in 1972, Jim collaborated with Michael to start The Phoenix New Times.
Michael Lacey was the executive editor and Jim Larkin was in charge of advertising. The free newspaper expanded its readership while discovering a wide range of political and social issues while earning prominence amidst the nation’s increasing list of alternative papers.
New Times purchased a weekly paper in Denver called Westword in 1983. This began an expansion which would ultimately embrace a multimillion-dollar chain of 17 similar papers touching both coasts. These included the Miami New Times, LA Weekly, and the grandfather of all alternatives, New York Citys Village Voice.
October 18, 2007, Lacey and Larkin were arrested taken to jail for unveiling in Phoenix New Times subpoenas issued by the Grand Jury targeting the paper’s editors, writers, and in an amazing offense to Constitution of The United States, readers.
Their unfortunate arrest came at the hands of Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County’s famous anti-immigration sheriff. Due to public outrage, all of the charges got dropped in less than 24 hours.
Additionally, the subpoenas were dropped, ultimately ending the grand juries inquiry. Later investigations found the grand jury’s warrants to be counterfeit and assigned by a vindictive prosecutor who circumvented legal safeguards.