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James O'Keefe, Media Group Sued By Project Veritas, Action Committee

The Project Veritas Founder Allegedly Ran ’Amok,’ ‘Put His Own Interests Ahead Of’ The Outlet

Former CEO and founder of Project Veritas James O’Keefe has been sued by his former outlet for allegedly violating terms of employment.

O’Keefe Media Group (OMG) and two former employees of Project Veritas, RC Maxwell and Anthony Iatropoulos, are also included in the lawsuit for allegedly breaching their contracts for the benefit of OMG.

O’Keefe allegedly ran “amok” and “put his own interests ahead of” Project Veritas, which asserted the outlet’s founder failed in his duties and caused “serious and significant damage,” according to the lawsuit which includes Project Veritas Action Group as a plaintiff.

The lawsuit notes O’Keefe was suspended, but not removed as a member, from his former role in Project Veritas as CEO and President of Project Veritas Action Fund on Feb. 6.

O’Keefe’s employment with the plaintiffs began on June 22, 2010 in which the founder agreed to terms and conditions during and after the term of his employment.

Terms include the agreement from O’Keefe to keep confidential information in the “highest confidence” without the written consent from Project Veritas. Confidential information regarding O’Keefe’s employment included information regarding “projects, potential projects, organizational practices … donors and potential donors.”

According to the lawsuit, O’Keefe was still subject to Project Veritas’ terms of employment regarding confidential information after the term of his employment had ended.

“Employee expressly agrees that the terms of this paragraph shall survive after the conclusion of Employee’s employment with Project Veritas and/or the expiration or termination of this Agreement, and that after leaving employment with Project Veritas, in addition to all other obligations hereunder, Employee will not disclose to any person or entity, or seek from any current or former Project Veritas employee, contractor or vendor, any Confidential Information,” reads the outlet’s terms of service regarding employment.

On Feb. 15,  the Project Veritas board released a statement saying, “James [O’Keefe] has not been removed from Project Veritas.”

O’Keefe contested Project Veritas’ statement at the time saying, “I have been stripped of my authority as CEO and removed from the board, contrary to what any public statements may say.”

The lawsuit notes O’Keefe was removed from the Board on Apr. 24 and subsequently formally terminated from Project Veritas on May 15, citing a mid-February email from the outlet founder outlining terms for his return which included the resignation of all Board members and most Project Veritas officers. O’Keefe’s alleged terms also requested the founder assume unilateral control over Project Veritas and Project Veritas Action Group.

O’Keefe launched OMG on Mar. 15, which the lawsuit cites was reportedly formed on Feb. 17 and launched with “substantially the same mission.”

O’Keefe’s formation of OMG was allegedly in violation of his employment agreement, according to the plaintiffs.

The lawsuit also notes several public statements from the founder noting he had been “thrown out” and “removed” from Project Veritas, which the lawsuit alleges were “false” statements.

“O’Keefe has and continues to solicit Project Veritas’s donors, employees and contractors, in direct violation of his Employment Agreement, for and on behalf of OMG,” reads the suit.

O’Keefe further allegedly violated his previous employment agreement regarding confidential information by reportedly emailing at least two previous Project Veritas donors.

“Hey there, I know you’ve been a supporter of my work in the last year,” reads the email according to the lawsuit, which allegedly contained a link leading to OMG’s webpage seeking monetary “subscriptions.”

Maxwell and Iatropoulos are similarly alleged to have violated previous employment agreements after joining OMG.

The plaintiffs request the court to declare that O’Keefe has been in breach of his employment agreement, in violation of fiduciary duties, and in violation of his duty of loyalty, along with declaring Maxwell and Iatropoulos in breach of their agreements.

The lawsuit further seeks the court to declare O’Keefe liable for plaintiff’s legal costs.

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