The conservative activist and filmmaker James O’Keefe is no stranger to negative press. He was previously implicated in the 2009 Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now video scandal, related to Democratic support of the Affordable Health Care Act. Mr. O’Keefe’s latest charges surround his role in New York-based Project Veritas. He is currently the subject of a wrongful termination lawsuit from the project’s former executive director, who states he was let go and then defamed by O’Keefe following his departure from the organization.
A legal spokesperson for the prosecution issued a statement to Weigel, detailing the dispute and intended pursuit of options to claim unethical behavior of the project and Mr. O’Keefe. A representative for the project has asserted that no summons had been received by the activist or his project.
Mr. O’Keefe has been the subject of several sting operations, the most notorious based on the allegations against ACORN. In 2009, evidence surfaced in a video in which O’Keefe and other participants reported fraudulent voting procedures. Other exposures claimed ACORN was involved in prostitution and tax evasion, as well as breaches of privacy, resulting in the wrongful termination of an employee. O’Keefe later settled one case in an agreement totaling $100,000.
O’Keefe recently claimed that New York Governor Cuomo is conducting a “witch hunt” in attempts to get him out of New York. Project Veritas has been headquartered in the state for three years, but state officials are now demanding submission of documents and financial records, making it a political target.
Circumstances leading to job dismissal may be suspicious. Some reasons are personal, but others are politically motivated. Wrongful termination of an employee should be grounded in verifiable facts and well-documented violations. In cases like this one, political aspirations and agendas may be at the bottom of cases leading to unjust employment termination. Understanding your rights and getting help in exerting them is key to protecting yourself and safeguarding your legal rights on the job.
Source: Huffington Post, “James O’Keefe Sued By ‘Wrongfully Terminated’ Former Employee” Mollie Reilly, Feb. 13, 2014