Project Veritas, known for its undercover investigations and whistleblower disclosures, is suing its founder James O’Keefe months after he was ousted from the organization.
In a Wednesday filing against O’Keefe in the southern district of New York’s federal court, Veritas claims the board begcame aware of “serious allegations by Project Veritas employees about incredibly troubling workplace and financial misconduct by O’Keefe,” including screaming at coworkers, “targeting” female employees and creating “strained” relationships with donors, the Daily Caller reports.
“Being known as the founder of an organization does not entitle that person to run amok and put his own interests ahead of that organization,” reads the suit.
The organization has also accused O’Keefe of misusing funds from Project Veritas for things such as personal errands, laundry, and cleaning his boat.
The suit comes after board members weighed O’Keefe‘s removal in February and placed him on paid leave, according to a previous report. Employees claimed they were dissatisfied with O’Keefe’s management and alleged he wasted money and was “outright cruel” to his staff, The Daily Beast reported.
Project Veritas claims they had “no intention of terminating Mr. O’Keefe when the Board convened February 6, 2023.”
“In fact, he wasn’t terminated until May 15, 2023. Rather, the goal was always to achieve an amicable solution to the personnel mismanagement and expenditures for the organization experiencing significant recent growth.” -Daily Caller
Veritas also claims O’Keefe missed several board meetings.
In a statement following his ouster, O’Keefe told staff that he was leaving over a conflict in vision between himself and the board in a poignant video.
Following his ouster, O’Keefe launched the O’Keefe Media Group (OMG) with essentially the same mission.
“We’re going to be sending cameras into the hands of hundreds of people,” O’Keefe said on Real America’s Voice. “We’re going to be creating a citizen army of journalists.”
Project Veritas staffers and its board had maintained that O’Keefe could return to the organization, but O’Keefe is instead forging a new path.
The Project Veritas founder said that a “small, tight-knit group” of “elite journalists” has remained by his side and is joining in the new venture.
“They have awakened a sleeping giant,” O’Keefe said in a promotional video. “I’m back.”
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