James O’Keefe Sued For Defamation, Wrongful Termination

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February 13, 2014 4:10 p.m.

The conservative guerrilla filmmaker James O’Keefe and his organization, Project Veritas, have been sued for wrongful termination by a former employee.

As first reported by Slate’s David Weigel, Daniel Francisco initiated the lawsuit in Westchester County, N.Y. Supreme Court on Jan. 27. Francisco, who until earlier this year worked as the executive director of Project Veritas, claimed in a court filing that he had been “wrongfully terminated” by Project Veritas, that Project Veritas had “breached its contract” with him by not paying for his final week of employment, and that O’Keefe personally had “defamed” him following his departure from the organization. The lawsuit seeks monetary damages and a declaratory judgment to stop O’Keefe from “further defaming” Francisco.

“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,” Kenneth Falcon, Francisco’s attorney, told Slate. “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.”

In an email to TPM, a spokesperson for Project Veritas declined to comment on the lawsuit beyond saying, as Falcon suggested, that neither the organization nor O’Keefe has yet been served.

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“We can’t comment on Daniel Francisco’s situation at this time and Project Veritas nor James O’Keefe have been served,” Jennifer Ridgley said.

Project Veritas’ recent secret video projects have focused on Democratic organizers in Texas and Obamacare navigators.

Falcon was not immediately available to comment on the case to TPM.

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