Conservative “guerrilla journalist” James O’Keefe III issued a statement Friday, addressing the $100,000 settlement he agreed to pay this week to settle a lawsuit brought by a former employee of ACORN.
“There comes a time when the cost to defend yourself against meritless accusations becomes so burdensome financially and personally, it is simply too great,” O’Keefe said in a statement posted on the website of his non-profit organization, Project Veritas. “The settlement admits no liability and there is no benefit from extending this ridiculous lawsuit.”
The statement continued:
Sadly, this is the cost of exposing the truth. That’s why so few people do it. There are liability issues inherent in undercover journalism. But let me be clear, this lawsuit had nothing to do with editing or misrepresentation. It was an action under the California Invasion of Privacy Act. The anti-recording statute under which the suit was brought is unconstitutional, overbroad, and gives the police and other public officials too much power.
As President of Project Veritas and undertaking 5 current investigations, my time and resources are better served in working toward our mission of exposing waste, fraud, and abuse then defending myself against lies. I will not be deterred from investigating and exposing corruption. Now more than ever, America is in need of a more ethical and transparent society.
The ex-ACORN worker, Juan Carlos Vera, filed suit against O’Keefe and Hannah Giles — O’Keefe’s partner in the infamous ACORN sting videos — in July 2010 in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of California. A notice of settlement filed with the court on Thursday states that O’Keefe “regrets any pain suffered by Mr. Vera or his family.”