Maricopa County agreed Friday to pay more than $7 million to settle lawsuits that accused Sheriff Joe Arpaio of abuse of power. The county will pay $3.5 million to former Supervisor Don Stapley, who sued Sheriff Arpaio, former County Attorney Andrew Thomas and others after the officials brought unsuccessful criminal cases against Mr. Stapley. It will pay $3.75 million to Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, executives of The Phoenix New Times, who sued the sheriff’s office when they were arrested in 2007 after publishing information about a grand jury subpoena demanding information on news articles and online readers.
Sometimes when criminal cases don’t work, civil cases do — and work big.
But hey: the sheriff arrested journalists for publishing information about a subpoena that itself was rotten to the core. That is scary. It makes Maricopa County sound like Putin’s Russia.