Recently, Donald Trump granted a pardon to the former Sheriff of Maricopa County following his earlier conviction for criminal contempt of the court. Arpaio ignored the Federal Judge’s order which was passed in 2007 for a racial lawsuit.
The pardon was given to him some weeks before he was to be sentenced for the offense. There have been a lot of oppositions that have risen because of the decision of President Donald Trump granting the Sherriff a pardon. Many hoped to see the long corrupt sheriff finally face jail time for his crimes.
Amongst those opposed to this decision are Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, the Phoenix New Times journalists, 10 years ago who had exposed the corrupt practices of the former sheriff during his 24-year service as Sheriff.
It can be recalled that Arpaio was one of the strong supporters of Donald Trump during the last election. He was one of his huge and vocal supporters especially during President Trump’s movement against Obama accusing him of being born outside the United States. This definitely gave him an upper hand as it had aided him in getting the pardon from the president for his criminal conviction.
Lacey and Larkin were able to expose the happenings that had been going on during the six-year term of Arpaio as Sheriff. According to their claims, Arpaio had brutal jail conditions that he subjected inmates to during his six terms in office.
They also claimed that the former sheriff had a tent city which was known as his concentration camp where there were several death beatings and inmate suicide cases.
There were also claims made concerning one $100 million that was supposed to be used as jail funds which were diverted. The former sheriff had over hundreds of unsolved criminal cases that were not investigated and even though the notorious case of Melendres v. Arpaio, a case of Latinos being harassed that finally brought about his conviction, Arpaio was still able to escape justice.
Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin head the Phoenix New Times. The two executives were arrested on the 18th of October 2007 after they revealed in one of their issues of the Phoenix New Times that the grand jury’s subpoenas were focused on their writers and editors.
Their arrest was carried out by the former sheriff Joe Arpaio. These two journalists were later released after an intervention by the public which made all charges against them to be dropped within 24 hours of their arrest. Read more: Michael Lacey | Crunchbase and Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia
After thorough investigations were carried out, it was later discovered that the subpoenas that were issued were fake. It was traced to a prosecutor who did not follow the proper legal procedure for issuing subpoenas.
Lacey and Larkin later filed for damages of $3.75 million against the Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio for the wrongful arrest which both partners used the funds to establish the Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund.
After the former sheriff was convicted for criminal contempt of court, Lacey and Larkin were of the opinion that the court’s decision was not sufficient as Arpaio should have been held accountable for the deaths caused by torture and the inmates that were abused.