ACORN Worker Fired After Appearance In Undercover Video
Juan Carlos Vera Says Statements In Video Were 'Taken Out Of Context'
7:22 AM, Sep 18, 2009
A San Diego ACORN employee who appeared to give human-smuggling advice to a pimp and prostitute in an undercover video made by conservative filmmakers has been fired, 10News' Juliette Vara reported.ACORN's David Lagstein issued the following statement regarding Vera:
After release of the second San Diego video by the unscrupulous partisan videographers, we have reevaluated our assessment of the incident that occurred last month. No paperwork was filed, but the video reflects unacceptable conduct that contradicts the earlier statements of ACORN Organizer Juan Carlos Vera. He has been terminated. San Diego ACORN and ACORN offices around the country are continuing to halt our service programs pending the results of the evaluation of the independent Advisory Council and we are continuing to fight on our campaigns: stopping foreclosures, affordable, accessible health care, and a strong education for all children.
In a press conference Thursday at ACORN's National City headquarters, Vera said statements he made in the video were taken out of context.The now-former ACORN worker said he was merely trying to help the pair because he thought they were in danger."I never done anything wrong in my life," Vera said. "They destroyed my family."In the footage filmed in July, filmmaker James O'Keefe and his partner, Hannah Giles, posed as a pimp and prostitute, and asked Vera for housing help.O'Keefe is heard in the video saying, "I want to buy a house and this is my girlfriend, and she's a prostitute."Vera said he was told the woman needed to escape her controlling pimp, who wouldn't let her start a new life.Immediately, Vera said he offered to call the police but the filmmaker quickly stopped him."Don't call the police because I'm gonna be a lawyer," O'Keefe said in the video.After the pair left the building, Vera said he called the National City Police Department.National City police confirmed that Vera contacted them, but said there was not enough information about the couple to file a formal report.Vera was also seen in the video asking the woman posing as a prostitute how much she charges.