Authorities arrest anti-ACORN alumnus


University alumnus James O'Keefe was arrested with three others on felony charges Monday for attempting to gain access to Sen. Mary Landrieu's New Orleans office.

O'Keefe, Joseph Basel, Robert Flanagan and Stan Dai were charged with entering federal property under false pretenses by posing as telephone repairmen, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

A former columnist for The Daily Targum and founder of The Centurion magazine, O'Keefe gained notoriety after creating undercover videos about the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which led to a slash in its federal funding in September 2009.

Landrieu called the incident unusual and unsettling, in a statement released last night.

'I am as interested as everyone else about their motives and purpose, which I hope will become clear as the investigation moves forward,' she said.

Flanagan and Basel were each dressed in denim pants, blue work shirts, fluorescent vests, tool belts and hard harts when they entered the Hale Boggs Federal Building in New Orleans, according to the FBI.

The men allegedly attempted to manipulate telephones and access the phone closet. They stated they had left their credentials in their vehicle and were apprehended by the U.S. Marshals Service.

If convicted, the men could each face a maximum term of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment, according to the FBI.

Kyle Barry, editor-in-chief of The Centurion, said he does not think O'Keefe will receive that sentence.

'I think that would be wildly excessive,' said Barry, a School of Arts and Sciences junior.

He said O'Keefe was not trying to do anything malicious.

'[O'Keefe] was trying to expose corruption 'hellip; [even though] that was the bad way to go about it,' Barry said.

- Heather Brookhart


Heather Brookhart

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