New York AG denounces NRA decision to re-elect struggling leader: “The rot runs deep”
By Rob Frehse, CNN
New York Attorney General Letitia James tore up the National Rifle Association on Sunday after re-electing its longtime leader, citing his ongoing financial abuse trial against the pro-gun group.
The NRA announced on Saturday that Wayne LaPierre has been re-elected as executive vice president and CEO. The AG’s office sued to dissolve the NRA for allegedly abusing charitable funds.
“The NRA’s decision to re-elect Wayne LaPierre and other top executives yesterday despite the detailed evidence of repeated fraud and self-trading that we presented in our trial and during the bankruptcy trial underscores that the governance of the board of ‘administration is broken and the rot runs deep in the NRA, ”James, a Democrat, said in a statement.
“For years Mr. LaPierre and his lieutenants have used the NRA and its donors as fertile ground for personal gain and to lead lavish lives, which is why they must be suppressed,” she added. “Our fight for transparency and accountability will continue because no one is above the law. “
LaPierre, who led the group for 30 years, has already postponed James’ trial, saying the GA “wants to close our doors.”
After a judge in May dismissed the NRA’s petition to file for bankruptcy in Texas, allowing the New York AG lawsuit to proceed, LaPierre sent an email to the roughly 5 million members of the group assuring them that it remained “strong and secure”.
“Do not believe everything you read in the newspaper: we are not going anywhere,” said his statement then.
After his re-election, LaPierre said in a statement that the NRA “stands up against unprecedented attacks on our association and our constitutional freedoms.”
“I am honored by the trust placed in me by the NRA Board of Directors and the millions of patriots they represent,” he said. “Together, we will continue to face our adversaries and fight for our freedoms and our values.”
James’ ongoing trial
James’ office alleged that the organization violated New York City laws governing nonprofits by routinely bypassing the organization’s internal controls to participate in expenses that were “improper and unnecessary use of charitable assets. “.
The pending lawsuit alleges that the NRA leadership used millions of the group’s reserves to fund lavish private jet trips, meals and other personal expenses, and that the money was misappropriated for the benefit of insiders. the NRA and preferred sellers. He also claims that LaPierre handpicked associates to “facilitate his misuse of charitable assets” and that the NRA board did not follow an appropriate process to determine “reasonable” compensation for them. NRA leaders, including LaPierre.
LaPierre wrote in a May letter that the NRA is “committed to good governance” and that it “complies with board policies and accounting controls, displaced” insiders “who abused of the Association and has accepted reimbursement of costs voluntarily determined as excess benefits. “
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CNN’s Devan Cole contributed to this report.