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NYT: Times Topics: James O'Keefe
May 27, 2010- James O'Keefe, a filmmaker and conservative provocateur, was one of four men arrested on Jan. 25, 2010 for posing as telephone technicians to enter the New Orleans offices of Senator Mary Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, and then tampering with her phone system.
The four were charged with entering federal property under false pretenses, a misdemeanor which carries a maximum term of six months in prison and a $5,000 fine. In May 2010 Mr. O'Keefe pleaded guilty. Magistrate Daniel Knowles III, who described Mr. O'Keefe as "extremely talented," though he was critical of the incident, sentenced him to three years of probation, 100 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine.
Mr. O'Keefe first gained fame for secretly recording conversations with workers for Acorn, the community organizing group. In at least one video, Acorn workers advised his companion, who was posing as a prostitute, how to conceal her criminal activities in the course of trying to buy a house.
While the heavily edited videos gave the impression that Mr. O'Keefe was dressed as a pimp when he entered the offices, later inspection seemed to indicate that he had manipulated that part of the footage. Nonetheless, transcripts showed that Mr. O'Keefe clearly presented himself as a pimp, and that Acorn workers had told him how to hide prostitution activities from the authorities.