Journalists Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are the former co-owners of the Arizona newsletter the Phoenix New Times. Lacey and Larkin are currently the founders of the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund.
The Frontera Fund is designed to help the plight of the Arizona immigrants in Maricopa County especially following the harsh treatment they received under Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Lacey and Larkin investigated the conditions of the jailed immigrants which was referred to as a concentration camp consisting of beating deaths, questionable inmate suicides, rapes, and more.
Also, when the jail became overcrowded, the sheriff set up an outdoor Tent City. The Phoenix New Times publications printed the many illegal activities of Sheriff Arpaio.
Then one fateful evening, Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his Maricopa County enforcement detachment broke into the home/office of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. Sheriff Arpaio took the journalist’s notes and investigative paperwork.
Due to the reputation of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, the journalist community rose up in arms on behalf of this violent act against the anti-amendment crime committed by Sheriff Arpaio against Michael and Jim. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin sued the Maricopa County and its officials.
Lacey and Larkin won their case and received a 3.75-million-dollar settlement. With the settlement money, they founded the Frontera Fund. In the meantime, Sheriff Arpaio was arrested for not complying with a cease and desist order to close down his jailing of Hispanics and immigrants residing in Maricopa County. Sheriff Arpaio did not stop his threats against the community, thus he was charged and jailed on criminal contempt actions.
However, in August 2017, President Donald Trump pardoned Sheriff Arpaio. The reasoning behind the President’s pardon was based on the fact that when Donald Trump was stumping in Arizona for the presidency, Sheriff Arpaio led an active campaign on Mr. Trump’s behalf. President Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio just before the sheriff was about to be legally sentenced.
Many civil rights group across Arizona and throughout the United States, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Frontera Fund were outraged at this event. With the pardon by President Trump on Joe Arpaio’s behalf completely pardoned any crimes or offenses against him, wiping all offenses from the sheriff’s records.
Interestingly enough, Arizona residents believed that even if President Trump had not given a pardon to Mr. Arpaio, that he still would not have served any jail time.
Comments on Sheriff Arpaio’s pardon from Lacey and Larkin rested on their opinion that this pardon is not only a negative against the President, but also reflects badly for the nation.
Also, after his release from jail, Sheriff Joe Arpaio campaigned for a seventh term, but he lost the election. There were additional comments that have surfaced based on Rex Tillerson’s response to this pardon where Rex was accused of calling the President a moron. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/michael-lacey/ and http://frontpageconfidential.com/michael-lacey-jim-larkin-arpaio-frontera-fund-first-amendment/
Further comments by Michael Lacey on Mr. Arpaio’s pardon were that it is definitely a contempt of court action because the initial judges’ orders were ignored. Plus, Lacey said it is a crime that Joe Arpaio will not be held responsible for the crimes against people’s live and careers that he destroyed and abused.
Jim Larkin and Michael Lacy have since launched a website called Front Page Confidential which follows and reports on freedom of speech cases and threats against the First Amendment.