After being arrested on a sealed federal indictment, Michael Lacey did not get to celebrate his recent marriage and instead was incarcerated in a federal detention center instead of attending his celebration at his home and Paradise Valley. Read more: Village Voice Media | Wikepedia and Jim Larkin | Twitter
While the actions that were taken against Michael Lacey seem like something more appropriate for a big-time drug dealer, they were all based on the what was published through backpage.com. Backpage was just one part of the large publishing network that was owned by Michael Lacey and business partner Jim Larkin.
In 2017, the pair had created Front Page Confidential to share news and spread awareness of the issues facing the United States when it came to the First Amendment. The site has been covering the incidents that led to Michael Lacey’s arrest as well as what has occurred after. Learn more about James Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://james-larkin.com/press/ and http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427427/Jim_Larkin
Michael Lacey’s criminal defense lawyer is an expert when it comes to the First Amendment rights and also defended Larry Flynt from criminal prosecution. He has stated that Michael Lacey has pled “not guilty” to all of the charges that were sealed at the time.
His business partner Jim Larkin went before a magistrate to defend Michael Lacey and to defend free speech in the United States. Michael Lacey, Jim Larkin, and lawyer Paul Cambria are speaking out about the FBI’s direct censorship of Backpage. While there was an adult section, there were also places for antiques, yard sales, job offers, and much more.
Michael and Jim both came from humble beginnings. The pair created the Phoenix New Times in 1972 to combat the conservative-biased coverage of the anti-war protests that were taking place in the area by students. While Michael Lacey served in the position of executive editor, Jim Larkin handled the advertising side of the quickly growing publication.
They continued to expand and eventually purchased the Denver based publication Westword in 1983. This was the first of many expansions that eventually led to a multimillion-dollar network that consisted of 17 other publications around the country. Some of these included Miami New Times, LA Weekly, and New York City’s the The Village Voice.
In October 2017, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were arrested by the Selective Enforcement Unit from the Phoenix, Arizona homes in retaliation for their roles in writing and publishing articles that brought to light the corruption that was taking place in Maricopa’s law enforcement system. Much of the misdoings by law enforcement in the area was aimed towards migrants.
Their arrest was found to be illegal and after an outcry from the public, they were released less than a day after. After this incident, the Frontera fund was created by Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin.
Despite their experiences, Jim Larkin and Micahel Lacey continue to fight for the 1st Amendment Rights of people around the United States. They obtained a reader base of around 9 million people a month in print and 56 million readers online. Their work has earned them the Pulitzer Prize as well as hundreds of other journalistic honors.