[Power Abuse] Member papers of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN), of which City Weekly is one, are providing links on their Websites that provide the home address of Arizona's Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
AAN papers are doing so to show solidarity with the Phoenix New Times, which was threatened with felony prosecution for publishing Sheriff Arpaio's address on its Website in 2005. After an adjoining jurisdiction declined to press charges, Arpaio's political ally, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, convened a grand jury to "investigate" charges the paper broke the law when it published Sheriff Arpaio's address.
Last week, Phoenix New Times' founders Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were arrested and jailed after the paper published a story about the grand jury and subpoenas they had received that demanded detailed Internet records of any person who had visited the newspaper's Website since 2004, as well as all notes and records from any reporter who had written about the sheriff in the preceding three years.
After Larkin and Lacey were arrested, an outpouring of shock and anger accompanied widespread media coverage of the case. The response created a groundswell of support for New Times. The charges were dropped less than 24 hours later after Thomas admitted that his office had made "serious missteps" in the case.
Phoenix New Times has published dozens of stories critical of both Thomas and Arpaio. In fact, the paper maintains an archive on its website of its coverage of Arpaio since he was elected sheriff in 1992:
New Times published Arpaio's home address in a story arguing that he abused a state law that allows law enforcement officials to keep their addresses from being made public. New Times said Arpaio used the law to hide nearly $1 million in cash real-estate transactions.
Thomas convened a grand jury to investigate the case even though Arpaio's home address was then and continues to be easily accessible on a number of other Websites, including the Maricopa County Recorder's official Website (see first link below):
http://recorder.maricopa.gov/CampaignFinance/CampFinDocsSelect.aspx?CandidateId=970003&FileYear=2004 (click "2004 Financial Disclosure Statement" for PDF)
Arpaio continues to resist New Times' request for information relating to his real estate holdings.
Here is the list of AAN papers that have agreed to post these links this week on their Websites:
Artvoice (Buffalo, NY)
Boston's Weekly Dig
City Pages (Minneapolis)
Independent Weekly (Durham, NC)
Independent Weekly (Lafayette, La.)
Metro (San Jose, Calif.)
Metro (Santa Cruz, Calif.)
Metroland (Albany, NY)
Miami New Times
New Times Broward-Palm Beach
North Bay Bohemian
The Pitch (Kansas City)
The Pulse (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
The Reader (Omaha, Neb.)
Riverfront Times (St. Louis)
Salt Lake City Weekly
San Francisco Bay Guardian
Santa Barbara Independent
Santa Fe Reporter
Seven Days (Burlington, Vt.)
Shepherd Express (Milwaukee)
The Source Weekly (Bend, Ore.)
The Stranger (Seattle)
Syracuse New Times
Urban Tulsa Weekly
The Village Voice
Willamette Week (Portland, Ore.)
(AAN Press Release)