crimesider

James O'Keefe and Co. Plead Guilty

James O'Keefe in 2009 (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
NEW ORLEANS (CBS/AP) James O'Keefe probably doesn't have to look very far for a costume at Halloween. O'Keefe and three  cohorts pleaded guilty Wednesday to a single charge stemming from allegations that they dressed up as telephone repairmen in order to tamper with the phones in Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-La.) office.

O'Keefe is probably best known for dressing up in a pimp costume in a video that embarrassed the community organizing group ACORN in 2009, but he has apparently stayed busy since then.

O'Keefe and three other conservative activists, Stan Dai, Joseph Basel and Robert Flanagan, were arrested Jan. 25 on felony charges but prosecutors later reduced the charges to misdemeanors, for entering federal property on false pretenses.

The FBI has said O'Keefe used his cell phone to try to capture video of two others who posed as telephone repairmen, and asked to see the phones at Landrieu's office. O'Keefe has said the group was trying to investigate complaints that constituents calling Landrieu's office couldn't get through to criticize the Democrat's support of a health care reform bill.

O'Keefe was sentenced Wednesday to three years probation, 100 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine. Dai, Basel, and Flanagan each got two years probation, 75 hours of community service and $1,500 fines.

Despite pleading guilty and telling the judge he regretted that his actions raised security concerns at the federal building, O'Keefe remained unapologetic for his actions, past, present or future, saying he felt it was his duty to "stand up to power."

"I expose corruption in the back rooms," O'Keefe told reporters. "This is about sunlight and we're the going to be the disinfectant."

O'Keefe said he would be releasing the results of another investigation very soon.

Hmm. Pimp? Check. Telephone repairman? Check. Could UPS delivery man be next?

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