The Frontera Fund was founded after a single incident, and a career spent covering important stories, experienced by journalists Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin. Both men worked for the same media company in Arizona and made it their mission to expose the misdeeds and gross miscarriages of law enforcement from Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his office. As a result of their coverage, the sheriff and his office carried out an illegal arrest of the two men and set out to charge them for writing about issues they had uncovered.
As expected the incident did not go over well, and the office and officers that carried out the arrests were found to be acting outside of the law. Charges were dropped, the office of the Sheriff was determined to have made an illegal arrest, and the public outcry over the incident was loud. In the end, after many years of court dates, the Sheriff’s Office was ordered to settle with Lacey and Larkin.
While the money that the two men gained from the incident was a longtime coming and enough to make their ordeal a little less difficult, they both felt they had to do something more. Lacey and Larkin established the Frontera Fund, a way to benefit Hispanics living in Arizona and protect their civil rights. The two believe that Sheriff Joe Arpaio unjustly targets Hispanics, both immigrants and legal citizens, living in his jurisdiction and trample their rights and freedoms. The work of the Fund has been far reaching and progressive, and its legacy and success is crucial to the health and prosperity of Arizona.