Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, co-founders of Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media, have dedicated the settlement money arising out of their arrest by Sheriff Joe Arpaio to fund migrant rights organizations throughout Arizona.
The $3.75 million settlement resulted from their arrest on October 18, 2007 by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The two journalists were taken from their homes in the middle of the night and jailed after revealing the existence of grand jury proceedings that sought reporters’ notes on articles covering the Sheriff.
More alarming, grand jury subpoenas demanded the identity of citizens who read New Times stories online involving the lawman. Lacey and Larkin, who’d spent their careers asserting and defending their First Amendment rights, sued the county, ultimately prevailing in the United States Court of Appeals for the ninth circuit.
The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund will support groups that advocate for civil, human, and migrant rights as well as freedom of speech and civic participation throughout Arizona including on “la línea fronteriza” – the Mexican border.