4 plead guilty in Sen. Landrieu video plot

NEW ORLEANS, May 26 (UPI) -- Four men pleaded guilty in New Orleans Wednesday to entering the office of U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu posing as telephone repairmen to secretly record her staff.

James O'Keefe, 25, known for staging a pimp-and-prostitute episode that led to the demise of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now; Joseph Basel, 24; Stan Dai, 25; and Robert Flanagan, 24, pleaded guilty to one-count of entering federal property under false pretenses, the U.S. attorney's office said in a release.


Basel, Dai and Flanagan were each ordered to pay a $1,500 fine, placed on two years probation and are to serve 75 hours of community service. O'Keefe was ordered to pay a $1,500 fine, placed on three years probation and is to serve 100 hours of community service.

Authorities said the four men met in New Orleans Jan. 20 to begin plotting how they would engage Landrieu's staff in her office inside the Hale Boggs Federal Building in New Orleans and record the interactions. Five days later, Basel, Flanagan and O'Keefe entered the federal building posing as telephone repairmen to carry out their undercover plan but ultimately were foiled.


O'Keefe said he and his cohorts were checking out complaints the Louisiana Democrat's office was ignoring phone calls from constituents opposed to the Democratic healthcare reform plan.

In O'Keefe's 2009 ACORN episode, he videotaped employees of the community organizing group giving him and a woman posing as a prostitute financial advice. The subsequent furor over the incident led to the organization disbanding in March.

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