Presidential pardons are really controversial, but this pardon created an uproar. One of the most recent President Trump pardons has caused the most controversy. He issued a pardon former sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Arpaio, known as America’s toughest sheriff, had the job in Maricopa County, Arizona. Many people knew him for this title and his tough talk. However, they do not know some of the negative things he’s done like the wrongful imprisonment of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, Village Voice owners.
The Face Imprisonment of Village Voice Publishers
It was just over 10 ago when it happened. The Maricopa County Selective Enforcement Unit agents knocked on two homes in the Phoenix, Arizona under the cover of darkness. Those homes belonged to Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. The agents were ordered, by Arpaio, to arrest the men. They were ordered to take Lacey and Larkin to county jail. Read more: Michael Lacey | LinkedIn and Michael Lacey | Twitter
The Men Were Imprisoned Under the Cover of Darkness
The reason for the arrest wasn’t disclosed to the men. The sheriff had charged them according to a grand jury investigation.
At that time, the men were involved in Village Voice Media newspaper. That newspaper had published a piece about the grand jury probe of the newspaper the same day of their arrest. What Larkin and Lacey didn’t know is that they were the subject of the grand jury investigation.
Arpaio was Frustrated by the Increasing Cover of His Law Enforcement Tactics
The men were allegedly targeted by Arpaio because of the overly aggressive way he enforced laws in the county. Since he began as sheriff in 1992, he had allegedly done things like create a Tent City for inmates.
However, Lacey and Larkin had been watching and publishing multiple cases where that allegedly went against state law. For instance, in 2011, the United States District Judge Murray Snow told Arpaio that detaining immigrants because he was suspicious of them was not legal.
Lacey and Larkin began their muckraking efforts to expose Arpaio to the American public. They quickly gain a following and the attention from the former sheriff. They never knew the attention would lead to a false arrest. The men spent 24 hours in county jail because of their work.
Larkin and Lacey Filed a Lawsuit for the Wrongful Arrest
After their release, the men filed a lawsuit against Sheriff Arpaio. In addition, they exposed more information about the type of corruption and malpractices going on under his watch. The lawsuit never reached court. Lacey and Larkin settled the lawsuit for $3.7 million.
They didn’t do it for money. Their freedom was worth more than $3.7 million. They have used the money to help others in the Arizona area. They settled because they wanted to move forward and continue fighting the sheriff on behalf the other people who had been unfairly punished by the sheriff’s department.
The sheriff faced his own legal battles. He was convicted of a crime. He was also voted out of office in Arizona.