(NewsNation) — Project Veritas leader James O’Keefe has been removed as CEO by the board of directors, he announced in an address to employees posted online.
“I’m announcing to you all that today, on President’s Day, I’m packing up my personal belongings here,” O’Keefe announced in a 44-minute speech which was recorded and published Monday.
O’Keefe had previously taken a paid leave of absence from the conservative watchdog group as its board considered whether to remove him over complaints of his “outright cruel” behavior toward employees and disgruntled donors, according to an internal memo, signed by a third of its employees, obtained by The Daily Beast.
Employees said that working for O’Keefe at Project Veritas could mean being “publicly humiliated” by the founder and “public crucifixion,” per the report.
They also claimed that staff could be required to undergo lie detector tests, that O’Keefe was a “power drunk tyrant” — according to one complaint — and that he once took a sandwich from a pregnant woman because he was hungry.
Project Veritas is known for using undercover, hidden camera methods to discover things it claims cannot be found with more traditional methods of reporting. Critics have accused Project Veritas of deceptive practices as a result.
NewsNation writer Taylor Delandro contributed to this report.