(NationalUSNews.com) — New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit in 2020 to dissolve the National Rifle Association (NRA), accusing its senior leadership of corruption, specifically naming their current outgoing executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre, among others. Pierre has been a member of the NRA since 1977 and the EVP and chief executive since 1991. He announced his resignation at the beginning of January, with a final date of January 31. While some believe his resignation is an attempt by the NRA to distance themselves from the 74-year-old LaPierre, he says that he is resigning due to his Lyme disease, which makes daily activities difficult, but he is stepping down on good terms.
Tuesday, January 30, concluded LaPierre’s final day of testimony in the nearly 2-year-long corruption case. During the trial, he was asked about using NRA funds for personal travel, helicopter rides, car rides, hair, clothing, makeup, and meals. He claims that the expenses were being used to expand the NRA’s reputation and outreach. As an official spokesperson for the NRA, which included numerous television appearances over the years, LaPierre says that many of these contested expenses were costumes and travel for that part of his job.
However, some of the expenses are not so easy to explain away. Invoices show many private airplane flights, including some that he wasn’t even on. He admitted in court that one flight was for his niece and her family to travel to Nebraska. He acknowledged that some of the private travel expenses being paid for by NRA funds may have been inappropriate but insisted that most of them were related to NRA business. He also asserted that his head of security told him it was no longer safe for him to fly on commercial flights.
In his testimony, LaPierre says that he has reimbursed the NRA for many of the inappropriate gifts and other expenses, adding that during internal audit that he supported, his immediate response was to pay all of the inappropriate expenditures back with interest. At one point, he commented that he now knows that the limit for gifts is $25. The attorney general’s office is demanding restitution and financial penalties for those NRA officials who have improperly profited as a result of the organization’s activities.
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