Rumors Fly That Our Story of Lovebirds Joel Fox and Larry Black is an April Fool's Day Stunt; It's Not, But We'll Take That as a Compliment


Not long after we'd posted today's story about the love letters between Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Deputy Chief Larry Black and his subordinate, Captain Joel Fox, someone we know asked us by e-mail whether the story was a hoax.

Someone else contacted another New Times employee, asking the same thing. Then Brahm Resnik, a star reporter for Channel 12 (KPNX-TV), published the following tweet:


True, such a thing isn't inconceivable, considering that New Times admits to publishing a few tall tales in the past. (Our most recent one contained the "news" that Phoenix Suns star Steve Nash was retiring from basketball for a career in Canadian politics.) However, New Times hoax stories typically have one thing in common: Anybody with half a brain can figure out something's fishy.

But no, the Fox/Black love story isn't a hoax. You can check for yourself by perusing the detail-rich SCA report that we published online last week. Local freelance reporter Nick Martin replied to Resnik's tweet a tweet by Lydia Guzman with the comment that "we'd have to see a copy from someone other than New Times to verify those PDFs are real." (Martin later reminded us that he'd noted in an earlier tweet that "the PDFs look legit.")

For sure, any journalist would want a firsthand look at the documents, without having to rely on other media outlets. However, we're confident that anyone who examines the massive SCA document we put online would have to admit that if it's not real, we ought to quit our job and go to work for Industrial Light and Magic.

Also, we hope many of you have noticed that we posted a follow-up article today that goes into more detail about the findings on Fox's computer, especially as it pertains to the SCA scandal.

Besides, it's only March 30.


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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.