Update on Phoenix New Times jailings
The legal woes of two Village Voice Media executives who spent a night in jail last week were abated before the weekend arrived.
It isn't often legal nightmares are resolved quickly. In fact, anything pertaining to the law tends to drag on tirelessly.But for the two executives at Village Voice Media who spent a night in jail last week, their legal woes were abated before the weekend arrived. On Friday afternoon, I wrote about how after they published details in the Phoenix New Times about a subpoena they received. Hours later, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, dropped all the charges against Lacey, Larkin and the paper. Dennis Wilenchik, the special prosecutor assigned to the case, was removed from the investigation by Thomas the same day. Wilenchick has denied any wrongdoing, stating that "his investigation was not 'grossly mishandled or mismanaged,'" and he will not stand to have his reputation tarnished. While it's not entirely clear what prompted the county attorney to drop the charges and remove Wilenchick, The Arizona Republic points out, that "Thomas' announcement came just hours after the State Bar Association confirmed that it had received multiple complaints and had launched an internal investigation into Thomas and special prosecutor Dennis Wilenchik for their actions in the New Times case and an unrelated one." The significant media uproar generated by Lacey and Larkin's imprisonment may be another possible explanation for the county attorney's actions, and Thomas contends that "he had no prior knowledge of the arrests or the demands set forth in the subpoena that his office sought." The Arizona Republic, has filed a motion in court arguing that all "all court filings in the case that led to last week's arrests of two New Times executives be unsealed and that all future proceedings be opened to the public."