Joe Arpaio is a convicted criminal who was pardoned by President Donald Trump in November 2017. He used to be the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona and was convicted by a judge for criminal contempt.
In 2007 a federal judge had ordered him to stop racially profiling minorities, specifically Latinos, and he ignored this order and directed his deputies to do the same.
Trump pardoning Joe Arpaio wasn’t a surprise to anyone since Arpaio had been one of his earliest supporters and had also supported Donald Trump’s long-since discredited “birther” claims about former President Barack Obama.
Because of the pardon, Joe Arpaio escaped punishment for his crimes. He was to be sentenced a few weeks after his conviction but the day after he was convicted Trump had pardoned him.
After the pardon was issued United States District Judge Susan Bolton legally validated this pardon.
As sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio had been involved in many illegal acts. One of the more infamous of these was when he had two executives in the publishing industry, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey, arrested in the middle of the night at their respective homes.
When they were guiding the Phoenix New Times, an independent newspaper, they relentlessly focused on then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the many scandals he was involved in, many of which they uncovered.
When talking about the presidential pardon, Michael Lacey commented that former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had it exactly right when he called Donald Trump a moron because him pardoning Joe Arpaio proved that point beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Michael Lacey listed some of the many horrible things that Joe Arpaio had done during his time as sheriff before he was finally voted out of office. He pointed to brutal jail conditions and an outdoor tent city which Joe Arpaio enjoyed referring to as his very own “concentration camp”.
In addition to treating Latinos like sub-humans Arpaio was also implicated for financial crimes. He apparently diverter over $100 million that was supposed to be for the jails under his control. Read more: Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia and Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund
It was in 1970 that the Phoenix New Times was first published. Michael Lacy and Jim Larkin established this newspaper, along with others, in the aftermath of the Kent State shootings where police officers had opened fire on protesting students.
Over time they bought additional independent newspapers in other cities. The umbrella business that owned all of these newspapers is Village Voice Media. Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey built a network of 13 newspapers over time.
When Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were swiftly released from prison after their illegal arrests orchestrated by Joe Arpaio they sued the country for violating their free speech rights.
There were appeals that stretched the case out for a few years but eventually they prevailed in court. They were awarded $3.75 million by the judge. In order to do good with this money, they established the Frontera Fund which helps Latino nonprofits in the state of Arizona.