Deposition Reveals Fraud and Payout For Undercover Video that Helped Bring Down ACORN

by on May 4, 2012 · 1 comment

in California, Civil Rights, Media, San Diego

Screen capture of deposition of James O'Keefe.

James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles – Andrew Breitbart Disciples – Deposed In Civil Suit Filed By Former ACORN Worker

By Channel 10 News / May

Explosive new information obtained by 10News reveals for the first time the payout for an undercover video that helped bring down the group ACORN.

James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, who played the role of pimp and prostitute in the video, were both deposed in a civil suit. O’Keefe wore a suit, while Giles donned a dark blouse, in contrast to the images that are familiar to many.

Back in 2009, they were the ones applying the pressure. After posing as pimp and prostitute, the two filmed undercover footage at an office in National City that appeared to show ACORN worker Juan Carlos Vera giving tips on bringing teen prostitutes across the border.

After the footage was posted by conservative activist Andrew Breitbart, Vera was fired. A state probe eventually confirmed Vera was simply playing along with the pimp conversation and had called police.

Eventually, amid a string of other videos, ACORN lost its federal funding and dissolved.

Vera filed suit, claiming O’Keefe had violated state privacy laws, and in a March deposition, there were some revealing statements from O’Keefe.

“He [Breitbart] said he would like to find a way for me to get paid to publish the videos,” testified O’Keefe.

O’Keefe gave details about the payout. He testified that before the San Diego undercover taping, Breitbart first saw undercover ACORN videos from the East Coast and wanted to see more.

“Now we have evidence for the first time, Breitbart agreed in advance to participate in the violation of California law,” said Gene Iredale, Vera’s attorney.

O’Keefe said he was eventually paid $65,000 by Breitbart to blog about the video.

Vera’s attorneys now plan to file suit against the estate of Breitbart, who recently died of heart failure.

Another key issue was why O’Keefe made only minimal attempts to follow up with Vera to confirm what was said in the footage.

“I did want to follow up,” testified O’Keefe. “I just didn’t end up following up.”

“O’Keefe says it was investigative journalism. What do you call it?” asked 10News reporter Michael Chen.

Iredale responded, “I call it phony propaganda.”

The state investigation also produced some harsh words for O’Keefe. Despite being granted immunity for turning over all the video, a report said he likely violated privacy laws.

“The casualty in this case was the truth and the victim was Juan Carlos Vera,’” said Iredale.

In a statement, O’Keefe’s attorney Michael Madigan said, “As James’ lawyer, I can tell you that we will try the lawsuit filed by Mr. Iredale in the courtroom, not by commenting on television as to selected excerpts from leaked depositions which in their totality describe the ACORN misconduct which led to its demise.”

An attorney who represented Breitbart and the attorney for Giles both declined comment.

The civil trial begins in June.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

avatar Nancy May 6, 2012 at 8:36 pm

I’m glad to see this case is going forward, as someone needs to pay for the harm
that was done due to the terrible editing done by O’Keefe that brought down ACORN.
It was all a setup to do away with the good ACORN was doing to get usually inactive
people active in getting things done politically. It is a very sad part of history, and
Breitbart is gone, and now it’s O’Keefe’s turn to pay a price for his shenanigans. Glad
to hear there will be a case to go after the Breitbart estate also.

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