When I was in private practice prior to joining Cornell in 2007, almost half my practice was representing employees against stock brokerage firms. I was very familiar with the drill when a company wanted to get rid of someone, or defend an employment claim: Audit expense reports.
When I was in private practice prior to joining Cornell in 2007, almost half my practice was representing employees against stock brokerage firms (the other half was representing investors against stock brokerage firms). I was very familiar with the drill when a company wanted to get rid of someone, or defend an employment claim: Audit expense reports.
If you rounded up a $3.47 coffee to $3.50, they would turn it into the crime of the century. That could be the most expensive coffee you ever purchased. I had one matter where the company raked the employee over the coals (as a prelude to firing) because he put in for mileage from his home to a legitimate business meeting, and the company cried foul because he only was supposed to put in the mileage from the office to the meeting, which was closer.
So I always counseled people when they started new employment to account for every single penny. Every single one. Lax practices company-wide would be no defense when the company came after you.
So it comes as no surprise that Project Veritas raised issues as to the spending of James O’Keefe in various communications at the time James was removed from the company he founded. I saw where this was going, because I’ve seen this movie before.
Now it’s official. In a mass email this morning, Project Veritas announced an audit of James spending. The subject line on the email was:
Update: We hold everyone accountable, especially ourselves
You can read the full email here. The key portion was this:
An independent two-dimensional audit is being arranged to examine all of the issues, including those outlined below:
1) Breaking the Bylaws of the organization by unilaterally dismissing the CFO and co-opting another board member’s vote by saying that board member supported the dismissal (they did not).
2) Private inurement/fiduciary responsibility (using donations for private benefit). The board included in its statement what it is aware of so far which clearly warrants this internal audit to ensure your hard-earned, and graciously donated, money is utilized appropriately. We hope to know more details around this soon.
This is consistent with internal email leaked to the Post Millenial – that leak probably prompted the Project Veritas mass email:
An email obtained by The Post Millennial shows that Project Veritas has reached out to donors to ask them to stay with the company despite founder and CEO James O’Keefe having been pushed out by the board of directors. Project Veritas is a not-for-profit operating entirely on the generosity of donors.
“We hope that you might continue to give us a chance,” the email says, pleading with donors. “We can’t stress how separate the board’s role is from daily operations here at PV. We are still grinding and pursuing stories of great public importance.”
The email, sent by Bethany Rolando, who was one of the 16 signers of a letter sent to the Board of Directors reporting personal grievances against O’Keefe, offers the subject line “Update: We hold everyone accountable, especially ourselves.”
“We understand and share your frustrations,” the email reads. “We all love and respect James and hope he returns. This is difficult for everyone.”
The email states that “an independent two-dimensional audit is being arranged” to determine if financial wrong-doing has taken place, and if O’Keefe had broken administrative procedure.
What is a “two-dimenional” audit? I had not heard the term before, but it sounds more intense than a regular audit. The internet did not reveal a simple explanation for a two-dimensional financial audit (if any commenters find a good explanation, please post in comments with a link).
My guess is that the audit will be more intense, it will approach anything and everything James spent to see if there is a retroactive reason to have forced him out. Given that James spent so much of his time traveling for fundraising, and was a larger than life personality, don’t be surprised if the two-dimensional audit results are used by Project Veritas as an after-the-fact justification.
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