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O'Keefe targets Ohio state workers

July 21, 2011 at 10:09 PM   |   Comments

COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 21 (UPI) -- Social services workers in three Ohio counties are the latest targets of a videotaped sting by conservative activist James O'Keefe.

Two men working with O'Keefe's Project Veritas posed as Russian drug dealers and applied for Medicaid, The Columbus Dispatch reported. They videotaped employees in Franklin County, which includes Columbus, and in Madison and Marion counties.

A Franklin County employee has been suspended from her $33,000 a year job for allegedly telling a man who claimed to be a drug dealer with an $800,000 sports car that he should not mention the car when trying to get on Medicaid. He also allegedly said his sister was 12 and already a prostitute.

Michael Colbert, the director of the state Department of Job and Family Services, said social services workers in all 88 counties have been ordered to undergo retraining, the Dispatch said. Colbert said state employees are legally required to report any suspicion of sexual exploitation of children.

O'Keefe made headlines with a sting aimed at the liberal community action group ACORN that led to a ban on federal funding. He has also targeted National Public Radio and was arrested with three colleagues when he entered the office of U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.

He was initially charged with entering federal property under false pretenses for the purpose of committing a felony but the charge was reduced to entering real property of the United States under false pretenses, a misdemeanor.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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