Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey’s Frontera Fund was launched due to a very specific incident. The men, both Village Media Voice executives, wrote a tell-all article in the Phoenix New Times exposing the wrongdoings of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Arpaio, who served as sheriff for 24 years, committed a number of abuses against people while in power. Larkin and Lacey revealed financial improprieties, racial profiling, failure to provide proper medical care and over 160 deaths in his prisons.
Arpaio also went as far as getting his lackeys in the Maricopa Attorneys Office issue subpoenas to find out information about journalists, readers and anyone else he felt was against him.
In retaliation, Arpiao ordered his deputies to pull Larkin and Lacey from their homes in hand cuffs. They were taken to separate jails and booked. Once word got out, the story made national headlines and both men were released.
A lawsuit was filed against Arpaio and the sheriff’s department. The court battle centered on abuse of power and constitutional rights violations. It was determined that Arpaio routinely abused the rights of citizens. He would even go as for as ignoring court orders telling him to halt racial profiling.
Instead of pocketing the $3.2 million judgement, Larkin and Lacey opted to open the Frontera Fund. The monies will be used to help Hispanic individuals who have been victimized due to racial profiling and prejudice.
In the meantime, Arpaio was charged with criminal contempt, stemming from his refusal to follow a judge’s orders. Many thought he would finally get his comeuppance and pay for his dirty deeds.
This was stopped by the tip of Donald Trump’s pen. He issued Arpaio a pardon. He did however, seek re-election, but lost against Democrat Paul Penzone.
Larkin and Lacey continue to run their foundation. “It’s a shame that this man (Arpaio) got away with all that he did. He demonized Mexican people and any other people with brown skin,” said Lacey.
Lacey and Larkin are the Journalists who are Warning the Nation
Resident all over Arizona rejoiced when Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was finally convicted of criminal contempt charges, none harder than his victims, especially Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin. Their victory, however, would be short lived when Donald Trump pardoned and absolved Arpaio of his crime.
For Lacey and Larkin, the fight has just began. Most of Arpaio’s victims don’t have the power or the voice to call him out on what he’s done. Lacey and Larkin, as journalist, have exactly what is needed to make sure Joe Arpaio doesn’t hold public office again.
After they were awarded a 3.75 million dollar settlement, stemming from an illegal arrest made by Arpaio and his deputies in 2007, Lacey and Larkin decided to create The Frontera Fund. With the fundraising efforts put forth by The Frontera Fund, Lacey and Larkin have given a voice to the voiceless. They are using the Frontera Fund to provide money and resources to charities that assist the Latino community. Lacey and Larkin likely chose to support the Latinos of Arizona because they were the primary target of Arpaio’s illegal actions.
The journalists are not stopping at just assisting their local community. By using their other recent foundation, Front Page Confidential, Lacey and Larkin are working to inform the entire country about the immoral behavior of Joe Arpaio. Front Page Confidential’s content doesn’t only pertain to Joe Arpaio. The paper also publishes material relating to all types of constitutional rights violations like voter suppression and first amendment rights violations.
With Arpaio’s recent announcement to run for a seat on Capital Hill, Lacey and Larkin will work as his opposition to inform voters of his troubling past.