One of history’s most ridiculous presidential pardons is when president Trump pardoned self-proclaimed America’s toughest sheriff. Joe Arpaio, who served the Maricopa County as a sheriff for 24 years was first elected in office in 1992 and re-elected six times back as a sheriff.
His tenure in the office was marked by hypocritical & corrupt leadership that saw two innocent journalists wrongly jailed. Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were two prominent journalists from the Village Voice Media who continuously exposed the evil deeds of Arpaio.
About Arpaio’s Pathetic Leadership
Joe Arpaio had grown frustrated because of the regular coverage of the news about his rule where it was Lacey and Larkin’s publication that mainly highlighted his abuse of office. Some of the areas that the media covered included the violation of the rights of women and inmates at Tent City.
The Arpaio administration also promoted racial prejudices against the immigrants where he targeted specific groups such as the Latinos. In fact, Joe Arpaio was on several occasions summoned on the issues that were legally admissible by Judge Murray Snow. Nonetheless, his administration was defiant on the subject and went on with their business of harassing the immigrants.
The Fall of Arpaio’s Rule
After ruling the Maricopa County for 24 miserable years, the sheriff was convicted in July 2017 for criminal contempt. Nevertheless, the sad twist to the story of Arpaio finally paying for his evil deeds never happened as he was granted freedom after receiving the presidential pardon. Read more: Michael Lacey | LinkedIn and Jim Larkin | Crunchbase
This was seen as a move to return a favor for his support for president Trump’s campaign where Arpaio was loud during the “birther movements” when former president Obama was being accused of not being born in America.
Moreover, Arpaio not only violated the rights of Latinos and Hispanics but also attacked those who opposed and criticized his rule including the media.
About Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin
The two gentlemen were university students who dropped out from the Arizona State University in the 1970s to commit themselves fully as journalists at a local newspaper. They were involved in the publishing of the Inaugural Issue of the local media newspaper under the Phoenix New Times. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Larkin: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Village_Voice_Media and https://www.facebook.com/michael.lacey123
Further, the two founded the New Times Publication where Jim Larking became the head of advertising while Lacey was the executive editor. Their publication grew fast to appoint that it acquired Westword Weekly Issue in 1983 and eventually joining a conglomerate worth millions of dollars of 17 other newspapers.
Furthermore, the paper was a weekly media issue that focused on the prominent political and social topics that were ongoing in the surroundings. New Times Publication continued to publish on the local news where it eventually reported on Joe Arpaio’s misconduct as a sheriff.
This would later result to Lacey and Larkin’s arrest on October 18, 2007, after publishing about the grand jury subpoenas that were targeting the entire media in the Phoenix New Times.
However, the two were released following a public outcry and later awarded $ 3.75 million by the Maricopa County for the unwarranted arrest by Arpaio. Also, Larkin and Lacey decided to use the money in the creation of the Frontera Fund for helping in settlement of the Latin –American people who reside in Arizona.