Joe Arpaio is a name that carries a massive amount of controversy with it, and for good reason. So it should come as no surprise that his recent pardon has stirred up a storm. Arpaio was convicted last year after he willfully ignored a federal judge’s order related to the infamous Melendres v. Arpaio lawsuit.
He was convicted for criminal contempt of court and was due to be sentenced, his pardon being issued and validated only a few short weeks before he would have been sentenced. With an ally in the president, Arpaio has become impervious to the law, and he knows it.
The former sheriff of Maricopa County never had any problem with inciting controversy and doing whatever it took to get voters. His vast repertoire of atrocities could fill a book, and no one could recite them better than Michael Lacey, a long-time critic of Arpaio.
His crimes include the diversion of jail funds toward his own purposes, the racial profiling of Mexicans, which, incidentally, led to his conviction, the botching of sex-crime investigations which involved minors, and many, many others.
Arpaio is no simple thug though. Nor is he a simple bootlicker, trying to gain Trump’s favor. Arpaio may be brutal, but he’s no brute. He is cold, calculating, and vicious. His motivations are purely political, and his only goal is his own advancement. He clearly abused his power, stepping over Mexicans and Americans alike on his rise to the top.
He had a startling amount of insight into politics, which he used to his advantage when he endorsed Trump, or when he flipped his views on immigration to appeal to Republican voters.
However, recently his support had begun to dwindle, and he knew that justice was fast catching up with him. So he sprung his exit plan, using his influence with Trump to keep himself afloat. Read more: Jim Larkin | Crunchbase and Michael Lacey | Twitter
11 years ago, on an October night, Joe Arpaio ordered the arrest of the co-owners of the Phoenix New Times, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, dragging them off to his jails after their harsh criticisms caused him to snap.
The two journalists had unceasingly covered Arpaio and his crimes for many years, consistently showing his atrocities to the world.
Before a single day had passed after their arrest, the public backlash from every side and the tremendous media pressure forced Arpaio to release the pair of journalists. They later sued, walking away with enough to found the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund.
The funds they took away from their battle with Arpaio have gone back into fighting against those who would ride his coattails. The Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund is a non-profit fund which serves to provide migrant-rights organizations throughout the state of Arizona with grants containing the funds they need to fight for the rights of Latinos and immigrants.
Additionally, Larkin and Lacey have made a return to journalism, founding a new online publication, Front Page Confidential. This publication puts a focus on slights against free speech and migrant rights by the administration.