Usually, when people sue the government, they keep the money for themselves. That can cast doubt on whatever cause they proclaimed to be fighting for. But for Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, their settlement went to numerous pro-migrant rights organizations. Since then, the two reporters have become spokespersons for their organization: Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media.
Nearly a decade ago, the two reporters were arrested in the middle of the night by Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The two were writing a story about Sheriff Arpaio that he did not want people reading.
The most shocking part about this case is how far Sheriff Arpaio’s determination went to stop Lacey and Larkin. According to their story, Sheriff Arpaio filed numerous subpoenas requesting that New Times not only turn over any and all notes concerning Arpaio but also that they turn over the identities of anyone who read online stories about the lawman.
Sheriff Arpaio’s behavior, in this case, is beyond shocking. Never has a lawman attacked the First Amendment to such a degree. Luckily, Lacey and Larkin prevailed in their suit against the country, earning them a $3.75 million settlement, which they donated to numerous pro-migrant rights and freedom of speech and civic participation organizations in Arizona. They also founded the Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund. Read more: Jim Larkin | Angel.co
Getting arrested probably isn’t something that surprised Mike Lacey. It wasn’t the first time he’d been in trouble with the law because of his courage to challenge the majority. Though he didn’t finish college, by the 70s, he’d already written a paper about the media’s conservative viewpoints about a campus antiwar protest.
When he started with that first paper, he never thought he’d be running a multimillion-dollar media conglomerate. He’s just a construction worker’s son from Newark, NJ. Now, he’s the leader of 17 like-minded publications across the country.
Jim Larkin is a lot like Lacey except he’s a Phoenix native. The two met at Arizona State, but neither finished. They immediately began focusing on their careers leading New Times to greatest journalistic heights. Eventually, they formed a huge media conglomerate known as Village Voice Media. Read more: Michael Lacey | Twitter
After their arrest in 2007, the two began thinking about the end game. In 2012, they sold VVM to some hungry young people and now spend their time working with charitable foundations and contributing to causes when they can.