With shining flashlights and unmarked SUVs having Mexican license plates, a group of men was knocking at the door of Larkin telling him that he knows why they are at his door. This was on the night of October 18, 2007, when Jim Larkin and his wife were in bed. Read more: Michael Lacey | Twitter and Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund
Molly, Larkin’s wife, had no clue of what was happening neither was his husband aware. So the wife dialed 911 to call the police for some aid. What they didn’t know was that the group of men was police from Arpaio’s Selective Enforcement Unit. In a similar way was Michael Lacey arrested.
The force from the Maricopa County had been sent to arrest the two executives of Phoenix Times for the crime of leaking the information on the grand jury which Joe Arpaio, one of the toughest American Sherriff heading Maricopa County, was involved in.
The jury that the Principal owners of Village Voice Media, which published Phoenix New Times newspaper, disclosed involved a subpoena that the media received demanding them to provide email and names of those who had read the newspaper.
This is was the period when no newspaper or media house could cover any story that involved the Sherriff despite his rampant cases of racism and discrimination against Mexican immigrant. After Lacey and Larkin were handcuffed, the story swept everywhere causing a lot of pressure to the Sherriff and his team. Read more: Michael Lacey | LinkedIn and Michael Lacey | Crunchbase
This made them be released within 24 hours from their different jails they had been taken. The fire had just begun, for with all confidence the two brave gentlemen, exposed even more of the filthy acts of Joe including putting over 3,000 prisoners in cells in their underwear. It was reported that a good number of them died due to some illness that could be prevented. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: https://michael-lacey.com/ and http://james-larkin.com/recent-news/
Before Larkin and Lacey, there was John Dougherty who had published in the newspaper that the Sherriff who has a salary of $72,000 had a cash investment of $690,000 in real estate. He also reported that the Sherriff never disclosed his commercial holdings.
After Joe went to court saying that he is receiving death threats after his home address was disclosed, the Maricopa County attorney appointed Mr. Wilenchik to handle the case. He is the one who issued subpoenas to Larkin and Lacey which the two disclosed to the public leading to their arrest.
To silence justice, Wilenchik was fired and the case was dropped against the two. Nevertheless, the Sherriff had broken the First Amendment rights of the two thus they filed a lawsuit against him.
They won the case and recompensed with $3.75 million which they used to establish Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund which give grants to various organizations that support some non-profit groups that speak for the rights of Latinos and Hispanics who were victims of discrimination and racism.
Lacey and Larkin also went back to Journalism and launched Front Page Confidential website that basically speaks for the First Amendment and various threats to freedom of speech.
The case kind of promoted the journalists and their VV Media Holdings for by 2012; it had almost 9 million readers and 56 million viewers every month.