Back in college, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin thought of establishing a company that would deliver news and public service to the people of Phoenix. They founded the Phoenix New Times, and started writing news reports.
Through the years, the editors in chief enjoyed the tremendous growth experienced by their company, and the Phoenix New Times became one of the most well-known publications in the city. They enjoyed the popularity of the publication, but they never imagined that everything will change in 2007.
The Maricopa County sheriff, Joe Arpaio, is being accused of the county attorney of corruption. According to the formal complaint filed against him, Joe Arpaio is dealing with real estate developers and getting a small percentage of their profit in exchange of services provided solely by the sheriff.
The county attorney saw dubious contracts and documents which included the county sheriff’s name, and upon investigation, they found out that Joe Arpaio is indeed involved in the corruption issue. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin saw the story, and decided to put it in the Phoenix New Times website.
After posting the news story, they were arrested by Joe Arpaio’s men in the middle of the night. They asked the men why they are being taken, and what they have done to experience that kind of treatment.
Joe Arpaio’s men told them that they are being accused of posting sensitive information online, and they were taken to the prison where they spend the night. Read more: Michael Lacey | Twitter and Michael Lacey | LinkedIn
A case was filed against Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, and Joe Arpaio requested for the IP addresses of all who have seen the information online.
This resulted to the outrage of the people of Phoenix and the city’s local media, and they posted the same information found on the Phoenix New Times to retaliate. The judge who handles the case found that the evidences against Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are not sufficient enough, and he set them free.
Meanwhile, the lawyer of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin suggested that they file a counter lawsuit to pay for the damages against their names. The Maricopa County lost the case, and required to pay Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin $3.75 million.
After receiving the money, the two decided to establish the Larkin and Lacey Frontera Fund, which aims to help migrants who are coming from the south. They prefer to help the Latin American communities, and with their private fund, many migrants managed to live comfortable lives in the United States.