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O’Keefe at Project Veritas, which found many New Jersey targets

James O’Keefe was fired from Project Veritas, the group he founded in 2013

The Westwood native has been involved in several videos in New Jersey

O’Keefe promises to return with another investigation team

Westwood native James O’Keefe exited as head of the Project Veritas investigative team after employee complaints about his management style.

In a video that appeared to have been made in a Project Veritas office, O’Keefe in a video claimed that the board had stripped him of any decision-making. The move comes after the board reportedly put him on leave from his role as chairman over complaints about the treatment of staff.

Conservative Project Veritas, founded by O’Keefe in 2013, is notorious for using hidden cameras and undercover correspondents to trap journalists, political operatives and other subjects in awkward conversations.

O’Keefe said the comments were intended for former colleagues, but acknowledged they were likely to be seen by the general public.

“So I have no job at Project Veritas right now,” O’Keefe said in the video. I’m packing up my personal effects.

He recalled a “high-speed chase” on Route 80 with a “New Jersey education union official” in one video.

In a statement released later Monday, the group’s board said it had uncovered “financial wrongdoing” and accused O’Keefe of spending “an excessive amount of donor funds over the past three years on personal luxuries.”

O’Keefe in his farewell video promised that he would return with a new mission with a new name but many of his former Project Veritas colleagues.

Veritas Project in New Jersey

O’Keefe and Project Veritas have staged several situations in New Jersey over the past seven years. Some have resulted in reprimands for civil servants, while others have fallen short of the hype.

During the Christie administration, when the governor was outspoken against the NJEA, the group targeted the union three times.

Project Veritas in 2016 released a video with Howell Middle School North teacher Robert Klein in an Atlantic City hotel room during the New Jersey Educators Association conference after being offered drugs while in the bar of the Borgata. The same video also claims to show an undercover meeting with a teacher union representative talking to activists about a teacher’s admitted drug use. Project Veritas characterizes union representative Ronald Villano’s comments as “advice on how the teacher could avoid getting caught with drugs on campus.”

The group returned in 2018 with videos of union representatives in Union City and Hamilton talking about ways to protect members accused of abuses that have led to resignations and suspensions of union officials. In a video, Hamilton Teachers Education Association president David Perry describes his work as defending “even the worst people” against allegations of physical abuse and verbal threats against students.

In the second video of 2018, the president of the Union City Education Association, Kathleen Valencia, seems to suggest to a teacher to cover up and not admit to having hurt a student. A Project Veritas staffer posed as the sister of a district teacher who, according to the staff, pushed and injured a student.

“I’ll get your brother a lawyer. Your brother won’t admit that something happened. The only witness is the shit guy… he has a record,” Valencia said. She warned her.”[The teacher’s] I won’t admit that anything happened… Keep your fucking mouth shut.”

Two other videos released in 2021 ahead of the gubernatorial elections failed to deliver the promised blow.

The group released an undercover video claiming that Governor Phil Murphy illegally provided financial aid to immigrants in the country after his election as a secret. In fact, Murphy had publicly advocated giving pandemic relief to unauthorized immigrants, and his administration announced an aid application process the day that video was released.

Project Veritas on Election Day in November 2021 sent an operator speaking with an Irish accent to an unnamed Essex County polling station. He tells the poll taker that he was in the United States on a work visa and had voted in the 2020 presidential election despite him not being a registered voter or citizen. A poll clerk said he remembered the man and handed him a ballot paper. Project Veritas makes it appear that the non-citizen can vote. But what The Project Veritas video fails to point out is that the poll worker was preparing a provisional ballot, which is meant for cases where a voter claims they are eligible even though their name is not listed in the ballot papers. a polling station.

Dan Alexander is a New Jersey 101.5 reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

Click here to contact an editor regarding feedback or a correction for this story.

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