The Specter Of Joe Arpaio Still Haunts Arizona Thanks To Donald Trump

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is running for U.S. Senate in Arizona, but current polling has him running dead last behind Republican contenders Martha McSally and Kelli Ward.

Still, the fact that Arpaio is in the race at all represents a travesty of justice that has been years in the making. Rather than seeking one of the most powerful offices in America, Joe Arpaio should be sitting in jail. Read more: Michael Lacey | Crunchbase and Larkin and Lacey Fruntera Fund | Crunchbase

But thanks to his political soulmate, President Donald Trump, Arpaio is free to pursue his tortured political ambitions. Trump issued a full presidential pardon to Arpio in August of 2017.

Arpaio had been convicted of criminal contempt of court for the blatant racial profiling of Latino people — it was standard practice for police during his reign as “America’s Toughest Sheriff.” However, always the wily politician, the former rogue sheriff sensed a powerful ally in Donald trump.

Arpaio became among the first to endorse Trump in his run for President. Many today see that endorsement as a kind of insurance the calculating former sheriff bought for himself. It seems to have paid off. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey:

While Arpaio is a free bird today, 10 years ago he ordered two Arizona journalists to be thrown in jail just for reporting the news — an egregious violation of the 1st Amendment. The two men were Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey. They were the owners of Village Voice Media, a series of alternative weekly newspapers.

One of those papers, the Phoenix New Times, blew the lid off the outrageous, lawless practices of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department under the direction of Arpaio. In fact, if it wasn’t for the aggressive reporting of Larkin and Lacey’s cadre of journalists, many national media outlets may have never learned about what was going on in Arizona.

Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey spent 24 days in the slammer before county prosecutors relented, dropped all charges and set them free. The case against the media men was not only bogus, but ridiculously unconstitutional.

Larkin and Lacey sued Maricopa County and were awarded a $3.7 million settlement — something that may have finally contributed to Arpaio’s ouster from office by voters. Arpaio had held the sheriff’s job since 1993.

Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey have since sold their interest in Village Voice Media but remain prominent figures in Arizona public life. At age 86, Arpaio is not ready to go quietly into the sunset either.