United States District Judge, Sharon R. Bolton, recently signed off on President Donald Trump’s decision to grant former Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, a pardon for his crimes. While this ruling seemingly closes the final chapter on the longstanding feud Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the former heads of the Phoenix New Times, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, the feelings associated with his virtually innumerable crimes are still raw.
In speaking with the media, Michael Lacey expressed his discontent with the decision, referring to President Trump a “moron,” and went on to detail a few of the inhumane acts that took place under Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s terrible incumbency.
Joe Arpaio made headlines when the conditions regarding his “tent city” jail, which was said to be referred to as a concentration camp by the sheriff, as well as for his unjust arrest of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, after they exposed the conditions of a grand jury investigation that focused on them, as well as their readership, in an edition of the Phoenix New Times.
Although the charges were quickly dropped due to their unconstitutional nature, it eventually led to a three-year court battle the resulted in the duo receiving a settlement of $3.75 million.
In 1970, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, along with a group of fellow students, which included Hal Smith, Nick Stupey, Karen Lofgren, and Frank Fiore, decided to publish a free weekly newspaper in response to the uber-conservative coverage of many issues affecting the rapidly changing country, particularly, the Kent State killings, executed by National Guardsmen, which had occurred earlier that year.
At this time, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, who would eventually become the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Editor respectively, felt that the anti-war community needed a voice, as alternative newspapers were becoming increasingly popular around the country.
With Jim Larkin, who was already married with children, heading the business aspects of the company, the Phoenix New Times began focusing on improving the quality of their content by venturing beyond local and national new, placing a number of memorable satirical cartoons, as well as getting well-established companies to place ads in their paper. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://james-larkin.com/about/ and http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427427/Jim_Larkin
By the mid-1980’s, the company that published Phoenix New Times had been rebranded as New Times Inc and began acquiring a number of like-minded publications that eventually grew to include 17 unique papers.
This expansion allowed New Times Inc. to reach the masses, becoming home to household names such as Village Voice, Seattle Weekly, OC Weekly, Miami New Times, and Nashville Scene, allowing Larkin and Lacey to touch virtually every major market within the United States.
After over four decades of running New Times, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey decided to step down, selling its existing papers, as well as its company stake to several executives that had been with the company for a significant amount of time.
Today, Larkin and Lacey focus much of their attention on the Frontera Fund, which is geared at protecting the constitutional rights of Latino Americans, as well as on their latest endeavor, Front Page Confidential.