Wayne LaPierre, EVP and CEO of the National Rifle Association, alleged Friday that the group’s president Lt. Col. Oliver North is trying to force him to resign, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In turn, the AP reported Saturday that North announced won’t seek a second term as president, citing a “clear crisis” that “needs to be dealt with” for the gun-rights behemoth to continue operating.
LaPierre sent a letter to the NRA’s Board of Directors Thursday claiming North was extorting him to leave the organization under the threat of having public accusations of misconduct made against him.
“…the exhortation was simple: resign or there will be destructive allegations made against me and the NRA,” the letter, which was obtained by the Wall Street Journal, said. “Alarmed and disgusted, I refused the offer.”
North conveyed that his efforts were beneficial for the NRA via separate letter to the board Thursday, according to the Journal report, and said he was putting a committee together to investigate the organization’s finances.
LaPierre explained that North contacted his office on Wednesday, telling an aide that LaPierre needed to resign immediately and call off the lawsuit the NRA filed April 12 against its ad agency Ackerman McQueen, or North would send a letter with “a devastating account of our financial status, sexual harassment charges against a staff member, accusations of wardrobe expenses and excessive staff travel expenses.”
The NRA filed a lawsuit against Ackerman McQueen last month claiming that the media vendor overbilled the NRA, according to a Fox report. and that North had a conflict of interest because of separate business dealings he had directly with Ackerman.
The letter confirms rumored infighting within the behemoth gun-rights organization, reports of which emerged Thursday at the start of the group’s annual convention, which runs to Sunday.
The New Yorker and The Trace published a piece April 17 alleging financial improprieties between NRA leadership and its major media vendor Ackerman McQueen, resulting in millions of dollars of questionable expenditures, the report alleged.
Part of the research used by The New Yorker and The Trace was provided by Everytown for Gun Safety, an anti-gun lobbying group founded by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the LaPierre-North feud and related issues will be on the agenda Monday during the expected meeting of the NRA’s 76-member board.
The NRA, North, and LaPierre did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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