Right-wing activist James O’Keefe resigned Monday morning from his position leading Project Veritas, the conservative group he founded, after clashing for weeks with his board.
O’Keefe, who became a star on the right by targeting journalists and liberal groups in hidden-camera stings, was placed on paid leave earlier this month amid a dispute with the nonprofit’s board. The board reversed O’Keefe’s firing of two top executives, and received a lengthy memo from unhappy employees detailing O’Keefe’s allegedly “outright cruel” conduct.
The news that O’Keefe had been sidelined in the group he founded provoked outrage on the right, with many conservative pundits tweeting that Project Veritas would be nothing without him. Project Veritas’s board and remaining executives had tried to heal the rift, insisting in a bizarre tweet last week under the organization’s name that O’Keefe was “alive and well.” Just days before the resignation, the board put out a statement insisting that its members “all love James.”
O’Keefe and the board didn’t respond to immediate requests for comment.
O’Keefe’s resignation was first announced on Twitter by Neil McCabe, a reporter at conservative cable channel One America News. McCabe told The Daily Beast that O’Keefe resigned from the group without striking a severance deal with the board.
“He just resigns and walks out the door to start a new life,” McCabe said. “Now we’ll see: does the organization he created survive?”