James O’Keefe Sued for “Wrongful Termination,” “Defamation”

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 13 2014 2:32 PM

James O’Keefe Sued for “Wrongful Termination,” “Defamation”

92145789-james-okeefe-the-producer-of-acorn-revealed-the
The conservative youngster has had a roller-coaster 2014.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

February started off quite well for James O'Keefe and Project Veritas. The New York Department of Labor had been requesting information from PV, the hidden-camera investigation outfit founded by the conservative undercover journalist. After Gov. Andrew Cuomo made some ill-advised comments about how conservative extremists were not welcome in the state, O'Keefe informed the media of the heat on his group. Not long after that, a court date and a demand to supply financial information were dropped. O'Keefe, who'd been successfully stinging Democratic organizers and Obamacare navigators in Texas, had won again.

Time for another migraine. On Jan. 27, Daniel Francisco, who was until earlier that month the executive director of Project Veritas, launched a lawsuit (case No. 51182/2014) against his former employer. In the summons, filed in the Supreme Court of New York, Francisco claimed to have been "wrongly terminated" by Project Veritas, that "Project Veritas has breached its contract" by "failing to compensate him for the final week of his employment," that it has "tortuously interfered with Plaintiff's contract," and that since then James O'Keefe had "defamed" Francisco.

Advertisement

"Essentially, a dispute has arisen and we're pursuing our legal options due to the unethical behavior and actions of Project Veritas and Mr. O'Keefe," said Francisco's attorney, Kenneth J. Falcon. "There's not many specifics I want to go into this point. I don't know whether they have been served, but I'm sure we'll be hearing from them soon."

Francisco had joined Project Veritas in 2012, when it was releasing the results of undercover stings of polling stations that didn't require voter ID. (A sting in New Hampshire led directly to the state's then-Republican legislature passing a voter ID law.) As recently as November, he was talking up PV's upcoming scoops and stings.

Now he's speaking through an attorney who isn't actually saying much. O'Keefe, reached for comment, deferred to a spokeswoman; I'll update the post when I get a response. [UPDATE: "We can’t comment on Daniel Francisco’s situation at this time and Project Veritas nor James O’Keefe have been served."]

On Twitter, at least, O'Keefe hasn't said anything positive or negative about Francisco recently. He's still at work.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

An Iranian Woman Was Sentenced to Death for Killing Her Alleged Rapist. Can Activists Save Her?

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

The U.S. Has a New Problem in Syria: The Moderate Rebels Feel Like We’ve Betrayed Them

We Need to Talk: A Terrible Name for a Good Sports Show by and About Women

Trending News Channel
Oct. 1 2014 1:25 PM Japanese Cheerleader Robots Balance and Roll Around on Balls
  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 1 2014 12:20 PM Don’t Expect Hong Kong’s Protests to Spread to the Mainland
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
The Eye
Oct. 1 2014 1:04 PM An Architectural Crusade Against the Tyranny of Straight Lines
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 2:08 PM We Need to Talk: Terrible Name, Good Show
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Oct. 1 2014 1:53 PM Slate Superfest East How to get your tickets before anyone else.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 3:02 PM The Best Show of the Summer Is Getting a Second Season
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 3:01 PM Netizen Report: Hong Kong Protests Trigger Surveillance and Social Media Censorship
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 2:36 PM Climate Science Is Settled Enough The Wall Street Journal’s fresh face of climate inaction.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.