MARMARONECK, NY – James O’Keefe, founder of undercover video sting group Project Veritas, is currently on paid leave and faces a potential ouster from his post after an internal memo signed by a third of the organization’s employees has alleged that he is “outright cruel” and a “power drunk tyrant” in his dealings with staff.
According to the memo, O’Keefe regularly “publicly humiliated” his employees with “verbal abuse” in what amounted to “public crucifixions,” and that staff was “troubled and frustrated” by his management style.
In addition, it was even claimed that on occasions O’Keefe – who founded Project Veritas in 2010 – forced individuals to take lie detector tests in an effort to root out leakers to the press.
“I would describe Project Veritas’ current environment with this saying: ‘The beatings will continue until morale improves,’” one staffer said in the memo, with a second individuals stating that “James has become a power drunk tyrant.”
The memo presented the nonprofit’s board on Monday with the signatures of 16 employees upon it.
Later on the same day that the memo was presented, the Project Veritas board voted to immediately reinstate two executives O’Keefe had fired the week prior, and the group’s founder went on paid leave, according to Project Veritas executive director Daniel Strack in an internal group chat.
“James will be taking a few weeks of well-deserved [paid time off],” Strack reportedly said.
Currently, the future of the group’s founder is uncertain, although many commentators – both within and outside of the organization – have stated that without its O’Keefe – described as its “heart and soul” – Project Veritas really doesn’t exist, as his reporting was often the centerpiece of their stories.
In response to comments on O’Keefe’s status, Strack told the media that the Project Veritas board is “constantly evaluating what the best path forward is for the organization.”
O’Keefe himself has yet to publicly comment on the situation.