Wayne LaPierre’s Chief of Staff Joshua Powell has been placed on administrative leave. This is according to court filings in one of the lawsuits involving the NRA and Ackerman McQueen in Virginia courts.
From the Washington Post:
A top National Rifle Association official has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the nonprofit group’s lawyer, according to a recent court filing, in a sign of ongoing turmoil surrounding the nation’s largest gun group.
The removal of Joshua L. Powell, the NRA’s chief of staff, was referenced in a Jan. 23 filing in Alexandria Circuit Court by the NRA’s former public relations agency, Ackerman McQueen. “Mr. Powell has now been placed ‘on leave’ by the NRA pending an investigation by NRA counsel,” the filing in Virginia says.
According to the story by Beth Reinhard, the NRA has not responded to multiple requests for comment. It is also unknown whether he is on paid or unpaid leave. His last reported compensation was $919,969 according to the 2018 NRA Form 990.
Powell also refused comment. The Post notes that he, ” removed “National Rifle Association Chief of Staff – Senior Strategist” from his Twitter bio this week.”
Powell has had a checkered history at the NRA. He was the one responsible for rushing CarryGuard out before it was ready when he served as Director of General Operations. He has also been named in sexual harassment allegations involving an Ackerman McQueen employee. It was serious enough that AckMac told Wayne LaPierre that they refused to work with Powell anymore.
As to why now and not earlier, that is unknown. Some have speculated he knew too much dirt and the powers that be wanted to keep him close. Powell has had a reputation according to some of looking out for himself above all else. If so, it would not have been unreasonable to suspect that he would cut a deal to save himself if it came to it.
Eventually we may know the full story. As for today, we know he is on administrative leave and that’s that.
UPDATE: Thanks to Rob Pincus, we have a photo of the filing in question. It is a filing by Ackerman McQueen asking the court to force the NRA to provide additional information regarding its interrogatories. As Powell is on administrative leave and “not in good standin”, his prior responses on behalf of the NRA under oath are no longer sufficient.