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Judge: No additional penalty for overbroad, deficient subpoenas

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  1. Protecting Sources and Materials
Marking the end of a bizarre case, the AP reports that Superior Court Judge Anna M. Baca refused to take…

Marking the end of a bizarre case, the AP reports that Superior Court Judge Anna M. Baca refused to take any additional action despite ruling that former special prosecutor Dennis Wilenchik failed to comply with state law when he issued subpoenas on the Phoenix New Times and two of its reporters.

The judge previously quashed the subpoenas, which sought a startling amount of information from the paper and its reporters, including every story the New Times published about Sheriff Joe Arpaio since Jan. 1, 2004, all of the notes, tapes and records of the reporters dealing with Arpaio in the same time frame, and the identity, browsing habits, and buying habits of all New Times online readers.

Michael Lacey, the paper’s executive editor, and Jim Larkin, chief executive, both spent a night in jail after disclosing the dramatic demands of the subpoena. Soon after drawing attention to the outrageous request, County Attorney Andrew Thomas dropped all charges against Lacey and Larkin and fired the special prosecutor overseeing the grand jury investigation.