Phoenix New Times Sues County and Special Prosecutor

october 16, 2007  08:34 am
Facing intensified threats of felony criminal prosecution for publishing the home address of Sheriff Joe Arpaio in 2004, New Times and reporters Paul Rubin and John Dougherty filed a complaint against Maricopa County and a special deputy county attorney in federal court earlier this month. It alleges that the Arizona law being used to threaten felony prosecution "is invalid and unconstitutional because it violates the guarantees of free speech and free press under the First Amendment" and seeks an injunction prohibiting authorities "from using investigative procedures and compulsion to investigate" or prosecute the paper and its writers and editors. "It is extraordinary and unprecedented for a newspaper to find itself subject to criminal legal attacks for the publication of newsworthy, true facts about such a publicity-seeking, controversial elected official as Joe Arpaio," New Times co-founder and Village Voice Media executive editor Michael Lacey says. "New Times has no choice but to vigorously defend its constitutional free-speech rights against those in the government who seek to abuse their power."