April 7, 2021

Embattled N.R.A. Chief Kept Bankruptcy Filing Secret From Deputies

By Danny Hakim Mary Williams Walsh

903 words

Facing enforcement by the New York attorney general, the National Rifle Association’s chief executive hatched a secret plan for bankruptcy.

Read original article (archived)

Refreshed on April 14, 2021 at 6:51:21 am

Headlines and popularity

  1. Embattled N.R.A. Chief Kept Bankruptcy Filing Secret From Deputies
  2. N.R.A. Chief Kept Bankruptcy Filing Secret From Deputies
  3. Embattled N.R.A. Chief Kept Bankruptcy Filing Secret from Deputies

Revisions

April 14, 2021 at 6:51 am CHANGED
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  The bankruptcy proceedings have become the latest referendum on Mr. LaPierre’s 30-year tenure at the gun rights group — recently beset by infighting — as it seeks to turn the battle with the New York attorney general into a fight over free speech rather than free perks.
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  “We filed this bankruptcy to look for a fair legal playing field, where N.R.A. could prosper and grow in a fair environment, as opposed to what we believe had become a toxic, weaponized, politicized government in New York State,” Mr. LaPierre said in his testimony.
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- The association is planning to use the bankruptcy to reincorporate in Texas. Mr. LaPierre kept the filing shrouded in secrecy, fearing leaks would jeopardize the plan.
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+ The association intends to use the bankruptcy to reincorporate in Texas. Mr. LaPierre kept the filing shrouded in secrecy, fearing leaks would jeopardize the plan.
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  But the attorney general’s office and the N.R.A.’s largest creditor, its former advertising firm Ackerman McQueen, want the case dismissed — claiming that the filing, and particularly the lack of notice to the board, was highly improper.
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  “The process Mr. LaPierre ­followed to file this bankruptcy case is itself a master class in bad faith and dishonest conduct,” said Monica Connell, an assistant attorney general.
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  The N.R.A. has used the trial to argue that the group has reformed after making some modest blunders in oversight. “Compliance has become a way of life at the National Rifle Association,” Mr. Garman said, while acknowledging that there would be “moderately cringe-worthy” moments in the trial.
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  But those moments undercut claims of reform. Among the issues that have come up in the proceedings is that Mr. LaPierre’s longtime assistant, Millie Hallow, was kept on even after she diverted $40,000 from the N.R.A. for her personal use, including to help pay for her son’s wedding. (Before she was hired by the N.R.A., Ms. Hallow pleaded guilty to a felony related to the theft of money from an arts agency she ran.)
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- The role of John Frazer, the N.R.A.’s general counsel, also came under scrutiny, when it was disclosed that he had no prior experience in such a role and had only two years of private practice. He has been left in the dark on key legal decisions, even though he is the organization’s top lawyer, and was not informed in advance by Mr. LaPierre that the N.R.A. was filing for bankruptcy. According to a former aide, Mr. LaPierre once said that he wouldn’t use Mr. Frazer “for my parking tickets,” a barb that Mr. LaPierre acknowledged in a pre-trial deposition he “may have said” as “a joke at some point.”
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+ The role of John Frazer, the N.R.A.’s general counsel, also came under scrutiny, when it was disclosed that he had no prior experience in such a role and had only two years of private practice. He was left in the dark on key legal decisions, even though he is the organization’s top lawyer, and was not informed in advance by Mr. LaPierre that the N.R.A. was filing for bankruptcy. According to a former aide, Mr. LaPierre once said that he wouldn’t use Mr. Frazer “for my parking tickets.” In a pretrial deposition, Mr. LaPierre acknowledged that he might have made the remark as “a joke at some point.”
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- Mr. LaPierre himself admitted making mistakes, including not disclosing his use of the luxury yachts.
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+ Mr. LaPierre himself admitted making mistakes, including not reporting his use of the luxury yachts.
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  “I believe now that it should have been disclosed,” he said.
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  His testimony is expected to continue on Thursday.

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Headlines

  • Embattled N.R.A. Chief Kept Bankruptcy Filing Secret From Deputies
  • N.R.A. Chief Kept Bankruptcy Filing Secret From Deputies
  • Embattled N.R.A. Chief Kept Bankruptcy Filing Secret from Deputies

Tags

  • Ackerman McQueen Inc
  • Bankruptcies
  • Firearms
  • Gun Control
  • James, Letitia
  • LaPierre, Wayne
  • Loesch, Dana
  • National Rifle Assn
  • NRATV
  • Texas