Things didn’t quite break as planned and now New York stands ready to do some breaking of its own. (NRA/Facebook)
U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “The [New York State] Attorney General has filed an amended complaint, 187 pages long,” the NRA in Danger blog reported Tuesday. “The original complaint was brutal, this is beyond that. Staff and some directors are looting the corporation for millions or tens of millions.”
The New York complaint confirms AG Letitia James is out to destroy the National Rifle Association by taking no prisoners and salting the earth. While others have suggested ways around her demands for total NRA annihilation, only one effort has moved beyond the talking stage and filed to be recognized in the legal decision-making, led by members who have filed an intervenor motion.
Regular AmmoLand News readers may recall the idea for members to try and stop the dissolution of the Association via an intervenor lawsuit first reported in August of last year. In June we reported the intervenor motion had been filed in the case with Life Members Frank Tait and Mario Aguirre taking point on behalf of the membership, and earlier this month this column relayed information about the related reply memorandum seeking the judge to grant the intervention, a decision anticipated in early September.
The exhibits embedded below have been extracted from the trial exhibits submitted at Chapter 11 (bankruptcy) motion to dismiss hearing. These are all public documents, legally downloaded from the federal PACER court record system and provided to me by a source close to the case, along with some relevant observations, opinions, and speculations.
The exhibit includes the January 15 “resolution” to authorize Chapter 11 reorganization and retain counsel, citing as authority the Board’s January 7 vote to give Wayne LaPierre the power to “exercise corporate authority … including … to reorganize or restructure the affairs of the Association.”
There’s a Jan. 15, 2021 email from NRA director Duane Liptak to John Frazer (General Counsel) regarding Frazer’s announcement that day of the Chapter 11 filing:
“Am I to assume that no one thought this worthy of discussion when the board was assembled 8 days ago?”
It seems equally valid to ask if any of the Board members who voted to give LaPierre such power wanted plausible deniability for themselves. In any case, per March 28 Board Meeting minutes, included in the embedded exhibit below, we learn:
“During Executive Session a Resolution authorizing and ratifying Chapter 11 reorganization was adopted by a vote of 44 in favor, one opposed, and three abstentions.”
The Executive Session information is blacked out, but much can still be gleaned from what is left. From a fly-on-the-wall perspective, it’s fascinating watching Director Phillip Journey, who has called for the court to assign an independent examiner to investigate corruption allegations, be repeatedly called “out of order” when he tried to speak. It’s also telling that other Board members did not stand up and demand he be heard.
The minutes are followed by a series of monthly “invoices for services rendered” by the Brewer law firm.
“Here are a few of the more interesting exhibits that go to conflicts of interest and the rubberstamp board: Copies of all Brewer Bills from Dec. ’18 to Jan. ’21, unredacted,” my source advises. “Unbelievable – note there is no detail in these – just single line entries. All approved by Wayne LaPierre and other NRA execs subject to his direction.
“Nobody pays bills like this with no detail,” he maintains. “No law firm sends bills like this with no detail. I haven’t found anything so far to indicate there was ever more detail — I think if there was there would have been an exhibit showing it or a motion objecting to more detail on grounds of privilege.
Craig Spray, NRA’s CFO and Treasurer at the time, made his concerns clear:
“You know as well as I do that these are not approvals. There is no ‘Wayne said’ approvals at the NRA. All of you are core to our controls process and frankly I am disappointed in all of you … I cannot emphasize enough what a break down this is.”
Then a curious thing happened. Per Law & Crime:
“On Jan. 29th this year, LaPierre sent the NRA’s staff and board a letter claiming that Spray resigned ‘due to health concerns.’ Referring to Spray’s prior testimony undermining that narrative, Fuchs quoted him telling the court: “The day of your departure was ‘certainly not the date you would have chosen”?
“‘Correct,’ Spray responded.”
What testimony he could add to an intervenor effort is a question of interest.
Then there’s a series of memos from short-timer President Oliver North, First Vice President Richard Childress, and Second Vice President Carolyn Meadows, calling for an “independent review” of the Brewer billings. North ultimately stepped down, Childress resigned, and Meadows took over as president and as an ardent LaPierre defender.
“What’s missing from all this, and I didn’t find in any of the exhibits, is a copy of Brewer’s original engagement letter that the North/Childress memo/letter mentions,” my source observes.
A desperate Wayne LaPierre knows he can’t fall off the tiger he is riding, and Letitia James is fixated on burning down the house. It’s clear at this point that a successful intervenor action with effective controls and a trustee/receiver representing member interests consistent with Association Bylaws is the best of three forced choices.
Now it’s up to the judge.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.