A circuit court judge granted a teachers union a restraining order against Project Veritas, an organization run by conservative activist James O'Keefe, and one of its alleged operatives.
The restraining order, granted Friday by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Brian Sullivan, prevents Project Veritas and Marisa Jorge, who allegedly works for the organization, from releasing video footage and information obtained during an operation at the Michigan chapter of the American Federation of Teachers.
AFT alleged Jorge used a fake name, Marissa Perez, to land an internship with AFT Michigan starting in May, "ostensibly to obtain material Project Veritas could use in one of its infamously misleading hit videos," according to a complaint filed in court.
Jorge said she was a student at the University of Michigan interested in becoming a public school teacher, but AFT believes she is really a graduate of Liberty University in Virginia who now works for O'Keefe's organization.
According to the complaint filed by AFT, Jorge "showed an interest in charter schools and in instances of educators who had supposedly engaged in ‘sexting' with students; there were no such instances."
Jorge also "engaged Plaintiff's staff and regularly sought information which was beyond her assignment," the complaint said.
AFT said Jorge frequently wore clothes "which are capable of hiding a camera or recording device," such as "large pearls, large glasses and clothing with buttons capable of hiding a camera."
Stephen Gordon, a spokesman for Project Veritas, said in a statement to Politico that neither Project Veritas nor O'Keefe have been served with "any court action in Michigan and we do not comment on investigations, real or imagined."
But Randi Weingarten, president of AFT, slammed O'Keefe and his efforts, saying he and "his operatives will stop at nothing to smear their ideological opponents — deception, distortion and dirty tactics — all to advance a political agenda that undermines public school students, teachers and families."
"When the rights of students are curtailed by our own secretary of education who has spent decades attacking, rather than supporting, public education, it is more important than ever to fight for the truth and for the promise of public education," she said in a statement. "We are grateful that the Michigan court has protected — at least for now — students, teachers and families in Michigan."