Update On Move To Draft Allen West

Stephen Gutowski at TheReload.com has an update on the move to draft Allen West to challenge Wayne LaPierre for the post of Executive VP and CEO of the NRA.

From The Reload:

West said he is “honored” by the call for him to run against LaPierre. He said he is considering the move and consulting with loved ones.

“It is deeply humbling and I am honored that these current and former NRA Board Members would put such trust and confidence in my abilities,” West told The Reload. “I have to pray and consult with my family. I love the NRA and my life has been defined by answering the call to serve, and my oath to the Constitution has no statute of limitations.”

While some who intensely dislike LaPierre wonder if this is a good move, Jeff Knox of the Firearms Coalition had this point to make about Lt. Col. West.

From a comment on Facebook where he points out that perfect is the enemy of good:

Folks, not having an alternative candidate that’s “perfect” is how we end up with LaPierre continuing in power. We must take out LaPierre, and that means running a candidate who has the potential to win, and who will actually run. He might not be your favorite candidate, but he is likely to be the candidate we have, so please don’t be disparaging him.

I think Jeff is correct in that the question comes down to this: do you want the perfect candidate for EVP/CEO or do you want Wayne ousted?

Intervention By Rocky Marshall Denied

Former NRA Director Rocky Marshall had filed a motion to intervene in the NRA dissolution case. His motion was filed in September 2021. He was still a director when he filed the motion to intervene. New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law § 720 b (1) gave him the statutory right to intervene.

Today a hearing was held on this motion in New York County Supreme Court. Unfortunately, Judge Joel Cohen denied Mr. Marshall’s intervention motion. I did not have an opportunity to listen to the hearing.

However, Stephen Gutowski of The Reload did cover the hearing and posted a series of tweets about it.

He wrote:

The hearing over former board member Rocky Marshall’s attempt to intervene in the New York suit against the NRA is happening. Marshall and others are trying to intervene as a way of providing an alternative representation of members. 

The judge seems skeptical of letting Marshall intervene without evidence he was illegitimately pushed off the NRA board. 

Marshall’s lawyers are noting they have different claims against the NRA than what New York has brought. They note that a big one is potentially trying to recover legal fees that the interveners believe are excessive. 

The judge says that sort of claim isn’t at issue in the New York suit and wouldn’t be decided there. So, an intervention isn’t necessary. Marshall’s lawyers counter that the NRA could be dissolved in this suit and they wouldn’t be able to make any claims at that point. 

The interveners argue NRA leadership, such as CEO Wayne LaPierre, has acted against the interests of NRA membership. They argue leadership has harmed the organization and they should be able to intervene on behalf of NRA members. 

The NRA’s lawyers are arguing, basically, what the judge had argued earlier. They say Marshall doesn’t have standing to intervene since he isn’t a director anymore. 

The NRA is arguing that because Rocky Marshall ran for NRA president during last year’s board meeting he has a conflict of interest in trying to invene (sic) in the case. 

The NRA is also arguing Marshall filed his intervention too late. The New York AG’s office also don’t want Marshall to intervene. They also argue he has no standing. 

The judge has denied former board member Marshall’s motion to intervene in New York’s case against the NRA. 

The judge says he does value the input of NRA members who don’t agree with how NRA leadership has run the organization, though. 

Judge says Marshall lacks standing because he is no longer an NRA board member. 

It will be interesting to see whether the judge has to decide this same intervention question for a third time if Frank Tait, who is another one of the interveners, is able to get on the NRA board. 

Well, crap! I thought Mr. Marshall had a chance to become an intervenor. As things stand now – and I hate to say it – the closest thing we as members have to someone representing our interests in the case is the NY Attorney General’s Office. That sucks.

Frank Tait noted in a post today:

Rocky’s attorneys made the point that the NRA is being bled dry and that this helps achieve the NY AG’s intent of dissolving the NRA.

That correlates with reporting in The Reload that analyzed the NRA’s finances and found that 20% of the budget is now going for legal expenses. Moreover, Wayne’s attorney Phillip Correll has billed the NRA approximately $175,000 in legal fees as of this past August.

One last thing that came out in the hearing today is that Susan LaPierre is also being represented by Phillip Correll. That leads to the obvious question is who is paying him to represent her – the NRA or the LaPierres?

Chipman Derails Black ATF Agent’s Career With False Accusation

Stephen Gutowski of The Reload has a story today of how David Chipman derailed a promising black ATF Special Agent’s career with a false accusation of cheating in a promotion assessment. Chipman’s accusation required a two-year investigation into the matter which effectively took this Special Agent out of contention for further promotions even though the agent in question was eventually cleared.

“I couldn’t believe it when it happened,” the agent told The Reload. “But when I read about his other comments, in my mind, I was like ‘that motherf*****.’ That’s what happened. He said, ‘Hey, a lot of African Americans qualified to be promoted on this certification list; they must have been cheating.’ And then he had to go and find one. I happened to be that one.”

He said he believes Chipman’s allegation after the in-person test was motivated by race.

“I believe it had to have been a bias,” the agent, who spent more than 25 years at the agency, said. “My answers were just ‘too good.’ And my thought is he just said, ‘this black guy could not have answered this well if he wasn’t cheating.’”

The agent said he was cleared by a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation, but not before his career took a hit. He said the protracted investigation effectively paused the promising career he’d built.

“I was cleared as I should have been,” the agent said. “But it was very painful because it was two years out of my life where my career was sidelined for something like that. And it caused me a lot of stress and my family a lot of stress. And it kind of disenchanted me with the idea of management.”

In the in-person assessment, the Special Agent was given a scenario and asked how he would handle it. In this particular case, unbeknownst to Chipman the scenario was something this agent had been doing as part of team for a number of years. The agent did well on it which led Chipman to make his false accusation of cheating.

Read the whole story which has been corroborated by another ATF agent.

Another NRA Board Special Meeting

Stephen Gutowski of The Reload is reporting that a special meeting of the Board of Directors has been called for May 1st in Dallas. The purpose of this meeting is to approve a reorganization plan that the NRA plans to present to the US Bankruptcy Court.

They plan to have a regular Board meeting on Sunday, May 2nd.

This meeting comes after two weeks of testimony before Judge Hale in the US Bankruptcy Court. As Gutowski, myself, and others have noted, this testimony has brought out many questionable financial practices involving Wayne LaPierre, his executive assistant Millie Hallow, and former CFO Woody Phillips.

As Gutowski notes regarding the meeting:

The NRA did not respond to a request for comment on the special board meeting, but there is a possibility the meeting won’t even take place. The current portion of the bankruptcy trial is set to end on April 23, and the judge is supposed to issue an order in the case by April 30. If the judge decides to appoint a trustee or dismiss the case, it is possible the group won’t have an opportunity to present the restructuring plan the board is set to review on May 1. A trustee could also fire current leadership and the board of directors before the meeting occurs.

The US Trustee has objected to the appointment of a Chief Restructuring Officer as proposed by the NRA. The US Trustee noted that the CRO would report to Wayne and the Special Litigation Committee composed of Meadows, Cotton, and Lee. Thus, the CRO would not be independent and could not be independent without bylaw changes by the NRA.

As the blog NRA In Danger points out:

The US Trustee did a better job of reading NRA’s Bylaws than did NRA’s attorneys. He points out that the CRO might be an NRA officer and the Bylaws say only the members can create a new NRA officer,

“It is not clear whether the NRA’s bylaws permit the creation of a chief restructuring officer position. The NRA’s most recent Bylaws incorporate input from the NRA’s membership and confer limited authority to officers and committees. The NRA’s Bylaws state that certain “AMENDMENTS IN BOLD FACE ITALICS SHALL NOT BE REPEALED OR AMENDED BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS.” Instead, Article XV, Section 4, reserves authority to amend bylaws in bold and italics to the NRA’s membership. Article V, Section 1(b), describes the specific officer positions, and in bold italics, states “The Board may not abolish said offices nor create any other offices.” 

There is another hearing scheduled before Judge Hale this afternoon at 4pm CDT. It will be interesting to hear what comes out of that meeting.

You will note that I did not say that Stephen Gutowski is with the Free Beacon. He left them on Friday and is now out on his own with The Reload. I would urge you to check it out and subscribe if you think it worthwhile. I did and I’m looking forward to his continued reporting on all things gun-related.