Village Voice Media Executive Editor Michael Lacey talks to reporters early Friday morning after being released from custody.
Two top executives of Village Voice Media, the parent company of the Voice, were arrested Thursday night and released from jail early Friday morning for revealing information about a secret grand jury proceeding in a story in the Phoenix New Times.
The story—headlined “Breathtaking Abuse of the Constitution“, and written by Michael Lacey, Village Voice Media executive editor, and Jim Larkin, VVM chief executive— detailed how Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio used a wide-ranging subpoena “in an attempt to research the identity, purchasing habits, and browsing proclivities of our online readership.”
The stunning arrest of the two media executives is the latest chapter in a saga that began when the paper took a hard look at Arpaio and questioned some of his real estate transactions. “Our question during the election cycle was: How is it that a guy [the Sheriff] who’s making $72,000 a year has nearly a million dollars in cash to invest in these parcels?” said a newly-released Lacey about the commercial real estate transactions the paper brought to light.
“We’re being arrested for raising hell,” Lacey remarked. “It’s sort of a tradition journalism has.”