In 2007, media executives Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were arrested in Phoenix, Arizona. The arrest was ordered by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was later convicted of criminal contempt of court and pardoned by President Donald Trump. After the arrest stirred up a major controversy nationwide, Lacey and Larkin were released from prison less than 24 hours. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Village Voice Media | Wikipedia
The pair were arrested on charges of revealing grand jury information. Larkin and Lacey had written a story that revealed that Village Voice, and practically everyone associated with it, had been subpoenaed by a special prosecutor. It is against the law to reveal information from a grand jury.
At the time the article was written, Larkin was the chief executive officer of Village Media, and it was exceedingly rare for him to personally author an article. Village Voice had been previously accused of publishing Arpaio’s home address and the special prosecutor was appointed to “investigate.”
This was part of a longstanding investigative effort by the media company into Arpaio that revealed, among other things, irregularities in his business dealings. Additionally, the company reported on financial mismanagement in the sheriff’s office as well as the inhumane and illegal treatment of immigrants in Arpaio’s “legal system.” The arrests were part of Arpaio’s campaign to use the apparatus of the law to create difficulties for his opponents.
Larkin and Lacey were arrested without a warrant at their homes. The officers that showed up at their homes did not produce badges. Instead, they were members of Arpaio’s “Special Enforcement Unit.” The Paradise Valley Police silently stood by while Arpaio’s private force carried out the arrest, claiming that they did not have jurisdiction over the matter. At least one of the cars that was on the scene to carry out the arrest had Mexican license plates.
Larkin and Lacey were taken to prison in the middle of the night. Investigation further revealed that the subpoenas that Larkin and Lacey were arrested for writing about were never valid in the first place. After being released from prison, Larkin and Lacey commenced legal action against Arpaio and settled for $3.7 million.
They used the proceeds from the settlement to start the Frontera Fund, which assists Latinos in fighting discrimination and illegal treatment, focusing particularly on happenings in Arizona.
Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey:
http://frontpageconfidential.com/michael-lacey-jim-larkin-arpaio-frontera-fund-first-amendment/ and http://releasefact.com/2017/09/jim-larkin-and-michael-lacey-continue-fight-for-latino-rights-after-pardoning-of-joe-arpaio/