In a scenario you might expect to encounter in a dictatorship, Law enforcement in Phoenix descended on the homes of executives of a weekly newspaper to arrest them for publishing an Article critical of a government official. By this posting however the charges have all been dropped and both men have been released from jail.

It began when executives of the Phoenix new times. A publication of Village Voice Media which owns several alternative free weekly newspapers around the country. Were arrested by the Sheriff on charges an article published Thursday in The Phoenix New Times revealed grand jury secrets.

Executive editor Mike Lacey, and Jim Larkin, chief executive officer, were arrested for revealing in an article that the Village Voice Media company its executives, reporters and even information about visitors to its website had been subpoenaed by a special prosecutor requested by the sheriff to investigate the newspaper.

The special prosecutor was appointed to look into allegations the newspaper violated the law by publishing the home address of Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s on its website more than three years ago.

The New times has published several series of stories critical of sheriff Arpaio, and in one that pointed out the questionable real estate dealings of the sheriff his home address which was already a matter of public record was included in relation to the story.

Village Voice Media, claims the arrests on misdemeanor charges represent an escalation in an ongoing conflict between The Phoenix New Times and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

By the close of business today however the county attorney had fired the special prosecutor requested by the sheriff and dismissed the case even as the National media was beginning to focus on the unfolding events in Phoenix.



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