Michael Lacey (right) and Jim Larkin, the founders and top dogs at Village Voice Media, were taken in at home by deputies after their Phoenix New Times weekly disclosed yesterday (beneath their bylines) that the paper was under grand jury subpoena for its reporting on Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Larkin got out last night, Lacey at about 4 am. They foretold the arrests in Thursday's story.
It is, we fear, the authorities' belief that what you are about to read here is against the law to publish. But there are moments when civil disobedience is merely the last option. We pray that our judgment is free of arrogance.
In a breathtaking abuse of the United States Constitution, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, and their increasingly unhinged cat's paw, special prosecutor Dennis Wilenchik, used the grand jury to subpoena "all documents related to articles and other content published by Phoenix New Times newspaper in print and on the Phoenix New Times website, regarding Sheriff Joe Arpaio from January 1, 2004 to the present."
Every note, tape, and record from every story written about Sheriff Arpaio by every reporter over a period of years....
More alarming still, Arpaio, Thomas, and Wilenchik subpoenaed detailed information on anyone who has looked at the New Times Web site since 2004.
New Times editor Rick Barrs told assembled media that "They're trying to muzzle us. This is retaliation against us. And it's not just retaliation against us, it's retaliation against the press." After his release, Lacey said "We're going to keep publishing, and with God's help, we're going to keep printing." VVM owns the LA Weekly and OC Weekly. Arizona Republic, Phoenix New Times