Case Against New Times Dropped

County Attorney Fires Special Prosecutor

Published online October 19, 2007, 4:00 p.m. MST
At a press conference on Friday afternoon, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas announced that all charges against New Times, its owners, editors and writers have been dropped — and that special prosecutor Dennis Wilenchik has been dismissed.

The shocking move came a day after Phoenix New Times published a story highlighting a grand jury subpoena demanding New Times hand over an unprecedented amount of reporter notes, personal information about Web site visitors and other intrusive materials.

"We tried to make a modest stand for our readers, our reporters and our Constitution," said Michael Lacey, co-owner and executive editor of New Times/Village Voice Media. "Sometimes law enforcement prevails in their view of the Constitution; sometimes the Irish prevail in theirs."

 
My Voice Nation Help
19 comments
Joel
Joel

This kind of reeks. All these bizarre comments applauding the upholding of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. You can't hide behind something that is noble and good when you're doing something that is obviously malicious. This guy's family is in danger now that his address is out there. This reminds me of some social science class I had in college. The topic for the day was: In the 1950s a newspaper (maybe the NYT I forget) publishes how to make an atom bomb and the US government tries to stop it's publication.... this was presented as the government interfering with the press. I raised my hand and said "uh - at that time weren't we very concerned about other countries knowing how to make an atom bomb? Aren't we always?" - and the teacher says "Well apparently you're for censorship". Idiots. All brainwashed. I want to see Bobby's censored comment, I doubt it had anyone's address in it.

Pat
Pat

As the daughter of a policeman I am appalled that you would publish the address of any law enforcement official. It is irresponsible to endanger the lives of the families and in no way furthers your cause. It appears that you were out for revenge rather than news coverage.

Meredith
Meredith

I agree with comment #16. Home addresses should not be published, only professional contact information. Both the Sheriff and the County Attorney have a long list of dangerous criminals whom they have put away over the years. These criminals would love to seek revenge, and now they know the residence of the Sheriff and County Attorney's families. This is reckless behavior for any publication.

jazzy
jazzy

Living in the Valley of the Sun for over 15 years, I've had ocassion to pick up this "rag" enough to know what it is, a far left liberal, and 50% fictitious "rag" that I've only used in recent years to pack breakables when moving into my new home.

I heard the New Times is now sensoring comments.... Not only is it ironic for them to do this, but just how absolutely twisted and infantile. Unfortunately Channel 12 is now soiling their good name too, jumping on the bandwagon... Azcentral and the Az Republic are nearly as bad in their censorship of stories on all topics, most recently the legal status of another criminal (guess what he was ---- an Illegal immigrant -- you see the facts remain the facts, wether or not they are censored).

The Repulic's latest stupidity just confirms they are in the same league as New Times has been king of for decades. At least the Republic hasn't started inventing news stories, but just wait, if they really are now competing with New Times, they most certainly will.

Bobby
Bobby

Funny... I posted a comment on Monday saying how it was irresponsible to post the home address of anyone whether you agree with them or not. If you want to post contact info, it should be their proffesional contact info. What's funny is that the comment is now gone. Makes me think that the only reason all the comments you see are on the side of the New Times is because they are sensoring everyone who disagrees. Ironic.

Grant
Grant

Congrats! It's nice to see common sense (at last) prevailing. Keep on fighting the good fight.

Incidentally, due to some international coverage by http://www.theinquirer.net/, you guys are starting to get a bit of a world wide following ; )

William C Drinkwater
William C Drinkwater

You guys Rock! I am so proud to be a long-time reader of the New Times.All those times that I tried to encourage others to read the New Times for the truth about Joe (and other things; except for the occasional "prank"), only to get funny grins and to not be taken seriously.Seems that I am always treated like some kind of counter-culture pot-head when-ever I mention the "New Times".I am not one to say "told ya so", but I am gloating over this one.Now the voters who've been keeping Joe in office can't ignore this anymore!Damn, you guys really showed the "Press" how to stand up to the political pressure!The Press in this valley have been lap-dogs for too long!With the exception of the New Times, I think they should all have thier press-credentials revoked.Bill DrinkwaterMesa

Max Lybbert
Max Lybbert

Although I'm not a local; I am very proud of your victory today. Give 'em hell!

Stormchild
Stormchild

Just out of curiosity, who is investigating Arpaio's personal life? The FBI? The USMS? NIJ, OIG??? How many letters does it take to figure out that these guys are crooked? It only took me 2 - I and Q, put together, and acting like I have one. Walenchik and Arpaio need to lose their jobs and be jailed in the prison that Arpaio created. On a lighter note, congrats Guys, on the charges being dismissed!

Dan B
Dan B

To put this in netspeak, Andrew Thomas and Dennis Wilenchik are political n00bs who just got pwned. I don't mean to make light of the crap they've put Lacey and Larkin through, or the amount of taxpayer money they've wasted, but holy jesus on a wheat thin, how stupid do you have to be to do the legal equivalent of walking up to a hornets' nest and shoving your hand right inside?

I look forward to watching the rolling trainwreck that was the political and professional careers of Thomas and Wilenchik.

Bill Gates, Sun Lakes
Bill Gates, Sun Lakes

This was never about revealing Grand Jury information or any other crock the disgraceful County Attorney and Sheriff concocted. This was an attempt at intimidation. Thank God the New Times stood up to it forcefully and fearlessly. You made an important stand on behalf of all of us. However, it's not over. At his press conference, Thomas said of his office's illegal assault on the New Times: "... I do not condone it. I do not defend it, and so it ends today." Like hell it ends today! It's just beginning. We can't allow public officials to pry into the reading habits of tens of thousands of people without vigorous, sustained challenges on multiple fronts. On Monday, I intend to file a complain about Thomas's outrageous conduct with the State Bar Association. I'm also writing to State Attorney General Terry Goddard to seek an independent prosecutor and/or investigation to determine if any laws were broken in this witch hunt. If he determines no laws were broken, I'd like his recommendations for a state law that would protect us citizens from such reckless, dangerous, anti-American intrusions. I also think we citizens need to begin a drumbeat demanding that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors audit the County Attorney's department, especially in the area of spending on and use of outside attorneys, and the Sheriff's Department because it apparently hasn't been audited in years. You guys are my First Amendment heroes for 2007.

Cathy
Cathy

We, all of us US citizens, should NOT let these people just brush this under the rug the way they are attempting to do. Unless you have the IQ of 4, it is not complicated to see what is going on. Whether the Sheriff had anything to hide in real estate or not is no longer the issue; what he did as a result, abused every American across the Board. In my county something like this happened. I had opposed the Head Sheriff, who permitted the stalking of my daughter. I turned him in, they arrested the young man finally. He then posted my daughter's confidential information across the internet, along with her knew court appointed name, her address, AND she was underage!The State Ethics board found 'no fault's' though it was clear he broke the law. I found out latter he was doing this to numerous opposer's; attacking the children of those opposer's. Displaying the child's information to the world in retaliations. My daughter almost died because of this man. Your sheriff is just as horrific! When did law enforcement do a consent agreement everyone was accountable BUT the law? Clue us in please what our new constitution now says if you have the time.

Mike Provost
Mike Provost

I like having freedom. What sick pigs for thinking they could do that to Americans.

Daniel Link
Daniel Link

I am glad that something didn't work for this crooked administrator. I'm from the midwest USA, but I have been following the sheriff, and have had enough of his actions.

Robert Rodriguez
Robert Rodriguez

Congatulations New Times! The idea of a free press (The first amendment to the Constitution) in my opinion is part of a system of checks and balances designed to keep our government honest. By exposing the abuse of powers by the sherriff's office and the County Attorney's office, I hope we are a little closer to removing these worms from office. New Times' has done it's part and I hope you continue, without mercy bringing to light all the wrongs committed by Nickel Bag Joe. The rest is up to the consumers of all media outlets to take notice and change thier votes at the next election. I would rather see sherriff Joe become a guest in his own jail, languish there during a long painful exposing criminal trial and then shipped off to a maximum security prison. (wishful thinking) As for County Attorney Thomas, either he sanctioned Wilenchick's conduct in this grand jury investigation, or he is clueless as to what tactics his deputies are using to get a "win" in court. Either way, both men are incompetent to hold office and should be removed and possibly dis-barred. Keep up the good work!!!

James
James

These guys are fucking heroes!!! The founding fathers have been spinning in their graves about the abuse of the Constitution they wrote, for good reason. These men have made me proud to be an American again by having the balls to stand up to the abusers of power in the government.

Thank you Lacey and Larkin!!!

Cabul
Cabul

As the main producer of world known Radio Network, I would like to give all accolades to The Phoenix New Times and their staff on behalf of sticking up for all types of media, ecompanies, and internet users around the world.

We believe there is far too many people who forget what the Constitution and the Bill Of Rights stand for. I now know we have upstanding citizens protecting our rights, and that with your recent help and bold statement, we have opened the eyes of the ones that have not yet seen.

I will be spreading the kind and beautiful name of "Phoenix New Times" on my stations.

John Harrington
John Harrington

I was just packing up the truck for a drive down there from Salt Lake City to volunteer some investigative time on this sheriff when I see the case against you guys got dropped. As a long time journalist who has worked the alternative side of the tracks at the Salt Lake City Weekly and the mainstream side in wire service, radio, television and newspapers, I have followed from afar the fantastic job the New Times has done over the years exposing the "toughest sheriff in America" and the truth behind his administration.

I imagine you would have had a considerable number of other journalists showing up down there, or otherwise lending a hand to help all of you deal with this crazy situation. Now - find out why they backed off. Is it because the arrest story has been picked up and is now being carried worldwide? Probably so. This does not paint much of a pretty picture here in G.W. Bush's "dfree" America, does it?

While the U.S. attacks countries like Afghanistan in order to "install democratic governments" - thanks to the Internet, people all over the world can read about this situation and see we have a "Taliban problem" down in Maricopa County.

Whatever you do - never, never, never give up.

 
Phoenix Concert Tickets
Loading...