Court: New Times executives Michael Lacey, Jim Larkin can sue Sheriff Joe Arpaio for arrest

PHOENIX - Two newspaper executives who were arrested by Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office after a series of critical articles can sue the man who calls himself America's toughest sheriff.

The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Wednesday overturned a lower court ruling that Phoenix New Times co-owners Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin could not sue authorities for the 2007 arrest.

The men were arrested after revealing that Arpaio's allies in the Maricopa County attorney's office obtained a grand jury subpoena to identify sources for articles about the sheriff.

Arpaio and the prosecutors eventually backed off.

The court ruled the executives could sue Arpaio for false arrest and violations of their First and 14th Amendment rights, among other claims.

New Times is an alternative weekly that is part of Village Voice Media.

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