Featured Image
 Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) — Undercover news outfit Project Veritas on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against founder James O’Keefe alleging the conservative journalist engaged in financial misconduct and unprofessional behavior.

The news comes four months after O’Keefe’s public split with the nonprofit he founded in 2010. While O’Keefe says he was pushed out of his role by the Board of Directors, the nonprofit said his separation was a temporary suspension following tensions regarding his alleged “financial malfeasance.”

The 70-page lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York echoes the initial claims from Project Veritas, accusing O’Keefe misuse of donor funds, unprofessional conduct toward employees, and breach of contract.

RELATED: James O’Keefe no longer with Project Veritas

“Being known as the founder of an organization does not entitle that person to run amok and put his own interests ahead of that organization,” the lawsuit states.

According to the filing, O’Keefe was suspended in February after the Project Veritas Board of Directors “became aware of serious allegations by Project Veritas employees about incredibly troubling workplace and financial misconduct by O’Keefe.”

Such allegations include failure to treat employees with respect, unprofessional behavior (including, allegedly, “screaming at coworkers and belittling them”), and the use of donor funds and Project Veritas employees “to run personal errands” and finance personal or luxury expenses including first-class plane tickets and “black cars.” Moreover, the lawsuit claims that O’Keefe’s decision to fire Project Veritas’s Chief Financial Officer was made “without authority.”

O’Keefe also allegedly “misappropriated Project Veritas property by taking Project Veritas’s equipment, donor lists and intellectual property for his own use with [O’Keefe Media Group].”

According to the suit, O’Keefe “failed in his duties to Plaintiff, Project Veritas, causing it serious and significant damage.” The lawsuit therefore calls for  O’Keefe to be “held accountable, as must the organization O’Keefe created [O’Keefe Media Group].”

As previously reported by LifeSiteNews, O’Keefe had launched O’Keefe Media Group, a new investigative journalism organization, just a month after his separation from Project Veritas.

In the promotional video in which he announced the new venture, O’Keefe appeared to take jabs at the accusations from Project Veritas — including by stepping out of a black Mercedes.

READ: ‘I’m back’: James O’Keefe launches new media group following split with Project Veritas

In the video, O’Keefe said that throughout his career he has “been defamed, arrested, raided, [and] ultimately removed from the organization I spent so much time developing the credibility of.”

He said he “always knew they would try to ruin the reputations of those who expose them. Pharma giants, the three-letter government agencies, and those who I thought I could trust.”

Shortly after news broke about the lawsuit, O’Keefe announced he would be joining commentator Tim Pool’s podcast at 8:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 31, with “some major announcements.”