Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are the founders of the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund which was established as a deliberate and conscious effort of trying to help eradicate migrant rights violations in the state of Arizona.
The two media personalities used monies worth around $3.7 million that were paid to them by Maricopa County as settlement for a lawsuit against former Maricopa County Sherriff Joe Arpaio and his office for illegally arresting the journalists without probable cause to set up the fund.
The Frontera Fund supports not-for-profit organizations whose main objective is fighting for the rights of the members of Latino and Hispanic descent within the state of Arizona by giving them grants which go a long way in helping them carry out their functions.
In an effort to get more coverage of the work they are doing, the duo recently launched another online publication known as Front Page Confidential whose main focus will be to tell stories about anyone trying to muzzle the media by threatening free speech.
The website will also act as a whistleblower with aims of being the first among the rest in reporting instances whenever the First Amendment rights of any individual have been violated.
For Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, this will not be their first time reporting against civil rights violations as they have been doing this for decades leading to instances where they have found themselves at loggerheads with law enforcement officials.
For instance, during Mr. Joe Arpaio’s 24 year tenure as Maricopa County Sherriff, Mr. Lacey and Larkin did not shy away from controversy but instead published several stories about the transgressions that were happening under the Sherriff’s watch including but not limited to financial misappropriations in the Sherriff’s office, the poor state of jails under the Sherriff’s jurisdiction, several deaths in jails, and last but not least rampant cases of racial profiling more so against Hispanic and Latino drivers and communities at large. Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/immigration/2014/12/16/proceeds-arpaio-suit-fund-asu-journalism-chair/20480479/ and http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427818/Michael_Lacey
However the story that received a lot of traction from all over the country and beyond was when they exposed an ongoing conspiracy to gag the media whereby the Sherriff colluded with his cronies at the County Attorney General’s office thereby issuing what was to be found later by the courts as an illegal grand jury subpoena demanding for personal details of their newspaper’s editors, writers, and readers.
The Sherriff was of the wrong impression that when the media executives see this they will cow and give up publishing stories exposing Mr. Arpaio for who he really is instead they flashed the story on the front page of the Phoenix New Times which lead to their arrest in the wee hours of the night from their homes.
When the general public from all over the country learned of the events that had occurred the previous night, they demanded the journalist’s immediate release and all charges against them dropped.
Within 24 hours the duo was released and they immediately sued the Sherriff and team for having infringed on their First Amendment Rights.