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Newspaper executives arrested for story

Oct. 19, 2007 at 9:09 AM

PHOENIX, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Jailed employees of The Phoenix New Times said they were practicing civil disobedience in alerting the public the paper had been subpoenaed by a grand jury.

Michael Lacey, the executive editor, and Jim Larkin, the chief executive, were arrested Thursday night in Phoenix on charges that a story they wrote revealed grand jury secrets, The New York Times reported Friday.

The Phoenix New Times is owned by Village Voice Media, which also owns The Village Voice in New York.

Lacey and Larkin revealed in the story that Village Voice Media company, its executives, its reporters and the names of the readers of its Web site had been subpoenaed by a special prosecutor for the grand jury, the Times reported.

The Phoenix New Times is under investigation for publishing the home address of Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio on its Web site several years ago. The paper and Arpaio have battled over stories it published about Arpaio's real estate holdings, the Times reported. Arpaio has garnered national attention for running tough jails.

Steve Suskin, a lawyer for Village Voice Media, said the arrests "represent an act of revenge and a vindictive response on the part of an out-of-control sheriff.”

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