Throughout history, there have been odd and controversial presidential pardons. The most recent one of these is when President Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio, who is known as “America’s toughest sheriff.”
He has done a lot of things that some support and some hate, that includes wrongfully locking up the owners of The Village Voice, Jim Larkin, and Michael Lacey.
A little over ten years ago, Maricopa County Selective Enforcement Unit agents arrested Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey at their homes. They were told to do so by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and they charged Lacey and Larkin with disclosing details of a grand jury investigation.
The grand jury investigation that they wrote about in their newspaper was unknown to them investigating them.
Since Arpaio became sheriff in 1992, people have had to tell him what he can and cannot do legally quite often. It appears that he is against inmates and women (especially if they are legal immigrants). Many publications wrote about his prejudices.
Due to these prejudices, he had to appear before judges many of times so they can tell him what he can and cannot do legally.
About ten years ago, Mr. Arpaio was sued because of the conditions of his tent city for inmates. The case stated that he violated the rights of Latinos and other immigrants and that is what Mr. Arpaio was charged with.
Even though he was charged with that offense, it did not change his attitude or the way he and his officers treated immigrants. His abuse of power was starting to get the attention of the media.
Part of the media that brought attention to Mr. Arpaio’s offenses were Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey. They wrote about him often and butted heads with the sheriff’s department a lot.
They were arrested after they were targeted by a special prosecution team that created the grand jury that Lacey and Larkin wrote about in the Phoenix Sun-Times.
When Lacey and Larkin started writing about Arpaio, no other publications were doing it. Writing about arrests done by Arpaio was not big news. However, when other newspapers started releasing articles and information that was obtained from what Larkin and Lacey wrote, the scandal became so magnified that it got attention from all over the world.
Larkin and Lacey got out of prison after being locked up for twenty-four days and they filed a lawsuit against Arpaio.The lawsuit brought to light more of his corruption and malpractices. The suit was settled for $3.7 million.
The lawsuit was bad for Arpaio as he did not get reelected as sheriff and he was charged with contempt in a previous case. He was found in a good light by the Trump administration due to the fact that he used to be a politician.
Arpaio endorsed Trump as president and Trump mentioned in campaign speeches that he would pardon him. People do not know for sure why Trump would do that. It is believed that he did it to attract more voters as a lot of people love Arpaio.
The aftermath of this was Latinos were being undermined and people continued to love and support Arpaio.
People continued to fight against Arpaio and he was charged criminal contempt in 2017. This small sentence was commuted by Donald Trump that pardoned Arpaio. It is unsure what will happen will happen to Arpaio’s crusade now. Even though he was pardoned, people are hoping that his campaign will be stopped forever. Read more: Jim Larkin | LinkedIn and Jim Larkin | Angel.co
To give you some background on Larkin and Lacey, they were college students. Lacey quit attending university in the 1970’s to run the Phoenix Sun full-time. Lacey got his start working at a small college newspaper. Larkin, another person that decided to leave school worked with him not long after the newspaper opened for business.
Lacey was the editor-in-chief and Larkin was in got businesses to put advertisements in their paper. Their small newspaper quickly became a success that covered many topics from art and food to political matters.
In the early 1980’s, they started to expand. In 1983, they purchased a news-and-arts newspaper in Denver called Westword. That started a chain reaction which led to them buying sixteen newspapers like these around the country.
Their new conglomerate known as Village Voice Media gained a lot of respect all throughout the U.S. They had been threatened for their writings, but nothing happened until they challenged Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
These challenges led to the aforementioned arrest of Larkin and Lacey and the resulting lawsuit that is previously mentioned in this article as well. Arpaio tried to get the information about their articles. Instead, he settled with them and paid them the aforementioned $3.75 million after Lacey and Larkin sued him and Maricopa County.
Lacey and Larkin used the $3.75 million to open up the Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund. Their goal was to use the money from the settlement to assist immigrant organizations in many locations in Arizona.
Because the people who opened the organization truly believed in the first amendment, Village Voice Media Holdings, the name that they got to be known by, became well-known for in-depth investigating, articles like the ones in magazines, and sophisticated coverage of the arts, food, and local events.
When 2012 was coming to a close, Larkin and Lacey sold their company to long-term executives of their company. By this time, the chain had nine million print readers on a monthly basis and another fifty-six million online readers and also had obtained many journalistic awards, including the Pulitzer Prize.
Larkin and Lacey are a good example of people that something bad happened to them and they turned it into good by helping a lot of people that were looked down upon by others.