Breathtaking Abuse of the Constitution - Sheriff Joe Arpaio arrests owners of the Village Voice & Phoenix New Times

Submitted by Quest-News-Serv... on Mon, 10/05/2009 - 02:06.
>Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the thug who boasts that he is the meanest Sheriff in the world and who runs the gulag prison called “Tent City”, which serves as the Maricopa County Jail arrested the owners of the Phoenix New Times, who also own the Village Voice. The New Times routinely runs articles that portray Sheriff Joe as the thug and criminal which he is. Keywords: Manhattan, Government, Law, Drug Wars, Police & Prisons, Repression, Civil Rights, Owners of the New Times Newspaper arrested by Sheriff Joe For the Net Times Article see: for supoena served on the New Times the see: ARS 13-2401 can bee seen at: ------------- October 19, 2007 - 12:24AM New Times leaders arrested by deputies Gary Grado, Nick Martin, Tribune In a rare move late Thursday, Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies arrested two leaders of the largest alternative newspaper chain in the nation, Villiage Voice Media, because of a story published earlier in the day by the company-owned Phoenix New Times. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, the executive editor and CEO, respectively, of Village Voice Media, were arrested at their homes on suspicion of violating grand jury secrecy, said sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Paul Chagolla. The two, who together started New Times in 1970, were the authors of Thursday’s cover story revealing that a special prosecutor, retained by the county attorney’s office, had issued subpoenas to them and other staffers in a criminal case against the paper. The case stems from the paper publishing Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s home address more than three years ago. Chagolla said the arrests came at the requests of the prosecutor. In the story, titled “Breathtaking Abuse of the Constitution,” Lacey and Larkin wrote “the authorities” probably believe revealing the subpoenas is against the law, “but there are moments when civil disobedience is merely the last option.” In an interview before his arrest, Lacey said the paper would fight to quash the subpoenas. “It is just without precedent,” Lacey said. “This isn’t us overreacting.” Also on Thursday, the sheriff’s office gave a criminal citation to Ray Stern, a New Times reporter, for disorderly conduct, Stern told the Tribune. The reporter said he was cited at his home after an argument earlier in the day over being able to take digital photos of public records from the sheriff’s office. Former New Times reporter John Dougherty, whose original story about Arpaio’s address sparked the controversy, said in an interview: “Were not harboring state secrets, we’re not harboring terrorists, we’re just straight up reporting on issues they don’t want us to report on.” Reached on his cell phone, Arpaio said he was not allowed to comment on the case, adding: “You do know that I’m a victim in this whole thing.” The paper reported earlier in the day the county wants to use grand jury subpoenas to pry into the habits of visitors to the Web site of the New Times newspaper. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, using a private attorney retained as a special prosecutor, also wants every story New Times has written about Sheriff Joe Arpaio since Jan. 1, 2004, and all the notes, tapes and records of the reporters. Lacey said the decision to go public came after a judge revealed in a court proceeding that the special prosecutor, Dennis Wilenchik, tried to meet privately with the judge, which violates court and ethical rules. According to the story, Wilenchik had a “political operative” who is married to a deputy county attorney call the judge to arrange a meeting. In a closed-door hearing, the judge disclosed the phone call and told Wilenchik it was “absolutely inappropriate.” Lacey and Larkin said they believe the subpoenas are in response to a long history of friction between the paper and Arpaio. “I’m not going to comment on New Times,” Arpaio told the Tribune Thursday. “You’ll have to talk to the prosecutor.” Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas also declined to comment. In 2004, New Times published Arpaio’s home address, available in public records on the county recorder and Arizona Corporation Commission Web sites, as part of a story that raised questions about Arpaio’s real estate investments. While there is no law against putting a law enforcement official’s address in the newspaper, state law does prohibit it from being published on the Internet and Arpaio’s office has been considering filing criminal charges against New Times, Lacey and Larkin wrote. Especially disturbing, Lacey and Larkin wrote, is that one subpoena asks for online profiles of anyone who read four specific articles about Arpaio and profiles of anyone who visited the paper’s Web site since Jan. 1, 2004. The county officials also want to track what Web users did while on the site, the story says. Sheriff's deputies arrest New Times owners Paper at odds with county authorities Michael Kiefer, Robert Anglen and JJ Hensley The Arizona Republic Oct. 19, 2007 12:00 AM Phoenix New Times owners Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were arrested Thursday night by Maricopa County sheriff's deputies on charges of revealing grand jury information, a misdemeanor. The charges stem from a story published under their byline in the Thursday edition of New Times, in which they describe a subpoena the paper reportedly received from a grand jury convened by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. At least one of the two was at the Fourth Avenue Jail in Phoenix early this morning. Grand jury proceedings are secret, and the two wondered in the opening paragraphs of the article whether they could face legal repercussions for making the subpoena public, but they viewed the subpoena as an attack on freedom of the press. The alternative weekly newspaper, in its cover story, said the subpoena was part of an investigation orchestrated to get back at its reporters and the critical stories they wrote of County Attorney Andrew Thomas' political ally Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The scope of the subpoena is unusually broad: It not only demands information from the reporters but also information about all the online readers of the publication since Jan. .1, 2004, including their Internet domain names and browsers and what other Web sites they visited before reading New Times. Outside the jail this morning, New Times editor Rick Barrs told assembled media that the arrests had been an attack by Thomas' attorney. "They're trying to muzzle us," Barrs said. "This is retaliation against us. And it's not just retaliation against us, it's retaliation against the press." "I think that what has gone on here legally is without precedent," Lacey told the Republic earlier in the day, before the arrests. Lacey is executive editor of Village Voice Media, which owns Phoenix New Times and several other papers across the country. It attempts to put a chill on reporters doing their jobs, he said, and invades the privacy of readers. Lacey says he didn't intend to turn over the information. The architect of the unprecedented online dragnet is the same private attorney at the center of other recent controversies in the County Attorney's Office. Dennis Wilenchik has helped Thomas launch a war against Superior Court judges over differences on cases dealing with undocumented immigrants, last week staging an unheard-of confrontation with the court's assistant presiding criminal judge. The State Bar reports that it is investigating possible ethical complaints against Thomas and Wilenchik in the wake of that incident. A county attorney spokesman on Thursday night said he could not confirm if Wilenchik had sought the arrests. The New Times subpoena originates from a series of articles published in 2004 and 2005. Underlying the subpoena is an allegation that the paper had published Arpaio's home address, which the County Attorney's Office alleges is a crime. The subpoena specifically asks for documents and Web-traffic details related to: • An article about a defamation suit filed against the sheriff by a political rival. • An article detailing the history of antagonism between New Times and Arpaio. • An article alleging that Arpaio had abused a law allowing public officials to keep home addresses private to shield nearly $1 million in cash real-estate transactions. But the subpoena then went from requesting specific information to general information about the paper's online readers. The subpoena did not specify why that information was being sought. The subpoena was not the only unusual tactic used by Wilenchik in the New Times case. According to Lacey, Wilenchik used a politically important intermediary to try to set up a private meeting with the Superior Court's presiding criminal judge, Anna Baca, whose responsibilities include oversight of the grand jury. It is improper for judges to comment on cases before them, especially when only one of the parties is present. Baca, Lacey claims, ended the conversation with the intermediary, whose husband works for Thomas, and then dragged all the players - reporters, editors, lawyers on both sides - into her chambers to make a record of the matter. . Lacey said that, during the hearing, Wilenchik denied he intended to talk to Baca about the New Times investigation and, instead, wanted to talk about the court's relationship with Thomas' office. Baca said that legal ethics prevent her from talking publicly about the case. Presiding Judge Barbara Mundell also declined to comment on the case, as did Barnett Lotstein, speaking on behalf of the County Attorney's Office, and Wilenchik. Attorneys are similarly barred from commenting on grand-jury proceedings. Wilenchik has been at the center of several recent controversies. He defended the Sheriff's Office in a defamation suit brought by Arpaio's political opponent in his past election, and last week leveled bias charges against the superior court's assistant presiding criminal judge. Wilenchik asked that Judge Timothy Ryan be removed from all cases involving the County Attorney's Office. The motion was denied Thursday by another Superior Court judge. But Wilenchik's actions have created a furor, and the State Bar of Arizona confirms that both Wilenchik and Thomas are the subjects of Bar investigations into ethical conduct over the interaction with Ryan. Legal experts described the subpoena of New Times records and computer information as frightening, over-reaching and unconstitutional. "It really is overbroad," said Kenneth Fields, a retired Superior Court judge. "And it touches on privacy issues of a lot of people who cannot be the subject of a grand-jury investigation. This is potentially thousands of people." James Weinstein, professor of constitutional law at Arizona State University, called the subpoena "exquisitely overbroad" and "outrageous." Weinstein said he has never seen or heard anything like the subpoena, which orders New Times to produce computer records of every person who has visited the New Times Web site in the past four years. "It has got to be unconstitutional," he said. Weinstein said the U.S. Supreme Court has been reluctant to grant special protection to the media unless the authority is abusing power and acting in bad faith, such as targeting the media for retaliation. New Times has pursued Arpaio since he was elected. At the bottom of the investigation is one New Times story in which a reporter details several valuable pieces of real estate purportedly owned by Arpaio. The purported crime, however, is that the paper published Arpaio's home address on the Internet, which is illegal under state law. Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C., questions the underlying reason for the subpoena. He said a case can likely be made that the newspaper's publication of Arpaio's address did not violate the law. He said that takes much of the bite out of the subpoena. EPIC was established in 1994 and focuses on civil-liberty and privacy issues involving computers and technology. Rotenberg said that the subpoena against New Times is sophisticated and frightening in its scope. By demanding the Internet addresses and computer activity of anyone who accessed the Web site, Rotenberg said, the county attorney is attempting to document the intent of all the viewers. Rotenberg stressed that he doesn't believe there was any "underlying criminal act" to support the subpoena. He said New Times' publication of Arpaio's address is protected under the First Amendment. Sheriff's spokesman Paul Chagolla said Thursday that his office could not comment on the subpoena, saying that Arpaio is a crime victim. -------------------------------- Records request stirs debate The Maricopa County Attorney's Office is demanding that Phoenix New Times turn over records relating to anyone who has visited the newspaper's Web site in the past four years. A grand-jury subpoena asks for Web addresses, shopping habits and information about what Internet sites readers visited before logging onto the New Times. Legal experts say the subpoena, which also demands reporters' notes and records on stories going back three years, is overreaching and unconstitutional. But the case raises important issues about privacy and serves as a reminder about the amount of information someone leaves when they use a computer to visit a Web site. Among the items the subpoena demands are: • Documents, notes, e-mails and any other material related to a series of articles written by several New Times reporters. • An accounting of the number of people who viewed each article online. • A list of every page on the New Times site that users have visited since Jan. 1, 2004. That would include the names of every person who read any story, ad or listing in the paper. • Any information obtained from "cookies" on the New Times site. Cookies are used to identify and track an individual's computer use. Think of it as an online fingerprint of what you have touched on a specific Internet site. • The computer domain name of anyone accessing the paper's Web site, A domain name identifies a computer or computer network used to access the Web. • All Web sites that readers visited prior to opening the New Times site. That would include any site - bank, social networking, news, information, pornographic - that a reader visited before logging onto New Times. • The dates and times of all visits to the New Times site. • The browser used by each New Times reader, such as Internet Explorer or Firefox. • The type of operating system software used by each New Times reader. - Robert Anglen ARS 13-2401 can bee seen at: ARS 13-2401. Personal information on the world wide web; exception; classification; definitions A. It is unlawful for a person to knowingly make available on the world wide web the personal information of a peace officer, justice, judge, commissioner, public defender or prosecutor if the dissemination of the personal information poses an imminent and serious threat to the peace officer's, justice's, judge's, commissioner's, public defender's or prosecutor's safety or the safety of that person's immediate family and the threat is reasonably apparent to the person making the information available on the world wide web to be serious and imminent. SNIP 5. "Personal information" means a peace officer's, justice's, judge's, commissioner's, public defender's or prosecutor's home address, home telephone number, pager number, personal photograph, directions to the person's home or photographs of the person's home or vehicle. SNIP
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