“His contributions to the NRA have been transformative.”

“Wayne LaPierre’s compensation reflects his enormous contributions to our members and the freedoms for which they fight,” NRA President Carolyn Meadows said in a statement. “His contributions to the NRA have been transformative.”

The statement from Mrs. Meadows come in response to reports in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post about Wayne LaPierre’s reported compensation in 2018. This comes from the not-yet public Form 990. That form is a financial report that all not-for-profits must file with the Internal Revenue Service annually.

The AP reports:

According to the filings, known as 990s, longtime NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre’s total compensation rose to more than $2 million. His base salary went from $1.17 million to $1.27 million, he received a bonus of about $455,000, and he got about $366,000 from a deferred compensation plan, according to the documents cited in media reports.

The story from the Wall Street Journal notes that revenues rose 13% while expenses rose 7% for the year. It also noted that Brewer, Attorneys and Counselors, was paid $13.8 million in legal fees making it that third-largest NRA vendor. The largest vendor for 2018 was, as may be expected, Ackerman McQueen.

Ackerman was the largest outside vendor, having been paid $32 million, plus $6.3 million for out-of-pocket expenses, including media buys and “reimbursement of travel and business expenses.”

Given past reports regarding LaPierre’s use of AckMac to disguise his actual spending, I wonder how much of the reimbursement was for his personal expenses.

In addition to the reports on LaPierre’s compensation was this note in the Washington Post on the monies spent by NRA-ILA.

Spending by the political arm of the NRA dropped from $47.1 million in 2014 to $32.51 million in 2018, the filings show. That was the midterm election in which Democrats took over the House and gun-control groups outspent the gun lobby for the first time.

That is very concerning. The monies spent – or in my opinion, wasted – on Brewer, Attorneys and Counselors, could have been used to support the campaigns of pro-gun candidates.

I will be requesting a copy of the 2018 Form 990 from the NRA Secretary’s Office. I have a feeling that it will contain many more unwelcome revelations.

As to the comment from Mrs. Meadows with which I started this post, I agree with her last sentence. LaPierre has been transformative for the NRA. However, if the last few years are any indication, it is not in the way that Meadows means or that you and I would want.

NOTE: If any of my readers has a copy of the 2018 Form 990 or a link to it, please send to me at jpr9954 AT gmail DOT com.

NRA Drops Lawsuit Against San Francisco

The NRA officially dropped their lawsuit against the City and County of San Francisco yesterday. The lawsuit was brought due to a resolution approved by the Board of Supervisors branding the NRA a “domestic terrorist organization”.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1)(i), Plaintiff the National Rifle Association of America voluntarily dismisses without prejudice the above-entitled action against all Defendants. This notice of dismissal is being filed with the Court before service by Defendants of either an answer or a motion for summary judgment.

San Francisco, in their reply to the original complaint, contended their resolution was a “statement of policy” and “non-binding”.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Mayor London Breed had already told city staff that the measure did not limit the city’s dealings with any vendors doing business with the NRA. Stefani said her resolution was a legitimate public denunciation with no binding consequences.

At the time Mayor Breed made her statement that the resolution would not impact dealings with vendors, NRA outside counsel William Brewer III indicated that the lawsuit would continue until the the resolution was formally revoked. As of yesterday, the resolution had not been revoked but nonetheless the case was dismissed.

Both sides are now claiming victory in the lawsuit.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera issues a short statement that said:

“We’re pleased the NRA backed down on its frivolous lawsuit. This was a baseless attempt to silence San Francisco’s valid criticisms of the NRA and distract from the gun violence epidemic facing our country. San Francisco will never be intimidated by the NRA. If the NRA doesn’t want to be publicly condemned for its actions, it should stop sabotaging common sense gun safety regulations that would protect untold numbers of Americans every year, like universal background checks, an assault weapons ban, and restrictions on high-capacity magazines.” 

The NRA and its attorney proclaimed victory in a multipart Twitter post:

Today the NRA withdrew its lawsuit in SF – and now celebrates the important victory it obtained on behalf of its members. As has been widely reported, after the Association challenged the unconstitutional resolution, the City beat a hasty retreat and backed down from its wildly illegal blacklisting scheme. The censors are on notice. The NRA will always fight for the Constitution, and will re-file if the City tries anything like this in the future.

So it appears that each side got a participation trophy allowing both sides to claim victory. The NRA got San Francisco to declare that the resolution was non-binding and San Francisco got the lawsuit dismissed without officially revoking the resolution.

I don’t think anyone can question that the NRA had to sue San Francisco in this case. However, I did find it interesting that the NRA didn’t use attorney Chuck Michel and his firm to handle the lawsuit. Michel and Associates has traditionally been the NRA’s go-to law firm for California related cases. Instead they used Las Vegas based Garman Turner Gordon as their attorney on the ground and Brewer, Attorneys and Counselors, as “of counsel”.

AckMac’s Counter-claim Makes Interesting Reading

I don’t know which side is telling the truth in the divorce between the NRA and AckMac. It could be neither of them. It could be both sides depending upon their perception of the issues.

I will note that the AckMac description of the influence on Wayne LaPierre by William Brewer III does strongly correlate with what insiders have told me. Brewer was described to have isolated LaPierre from long time friends and associates and fed his paranoia.

That said, the narrative in Ackerman McQueen’s reply and counter-claim filed on October 1st makes for interesting reading. Of particular interest are pages 19 through 42. The rest is mostly legalese. I have embedded it below. If you click on the heading, you can also download it to read later.

Ackerman McQueen Texas Coun… by Stephen Gutowski on Scribd

NRA Wins, Ollie Loses On Reimbursements

The National Rifles Association will not have to pay former NRA President Oliver North’s legal bills. That was the ruling today by Justice Joel Cohen in the lawsuit brought by the NRA seeking a declaratory judgement. Col. North had sought indemnification for legal expenses incurred as a result subpoenas in the second Ack-Mac case and the Senate Finance Committee’s request for documents.

From Bloomberg.com:

Justice Joel Cohen said Thursday that the gun rights group isn’t required under its internal rules or state bylaws to indemnify North for expenses he’s incurring as a witness in legal matters triggered by the infighting, including a probe of the NRA’s nonprofit status by New York’s attorney general.


The turmoil began when North alleged that Wayne LaPierre, the organization’s longtime leader and public face, used the NRA to enrich himself, an accusation LaPierre denied. North was accused of trying to overthrow him.


Ruling from the bench, Cohen said the case boiled down to the meaning of a 93-word sentence in the NRA’s bylaws and didn’t hinge on allegations between the parties, including the group’s claim that North acted in bad faith when he began looking into alleged wrongdoing at the organization.


“No sentence should be 93 words long, but once you wade through it, the meaning is clear,” Cohen said. “Colonel North’s reading would require something close to a blank check, and that’s just not what the bylaw says.”

As of this writing, the NY State Courts Electronic Filing system does not have the actual ruling posted.

As might be expected, NRA outside counsel William Brewer III called this a “resounding win” for the NRA. What would be interesting to know is how much Brewer, Attorneys and Counselors billed to handle this case. It would also be interesting to know what the legal bills submitted by Col. North amounted to by comparison.

This case was on the surface about whether Col. North was entitled to indemnification or reimbursements of his legal bills incurred. Below the surface you have a very successful effort to get rid of Chris Cox who was a potential successor to Wayne LaPierre. It also consolidated the hold that Brewer has over LaPierre by damaging those who were independent of Brewer or who opposed him. You see more and more of that coming out as time has passed.

Someone Is Going Under The Bus

The New York Times ran a story by Danny Hakim regarding the financing of the “Russia trip”. It appeared in Thursday’s paper. The “Russia trip” was a visit to Moscow organized by Maria Butina. It was attended by former NRA President David Keene, then-1st VP Pete Brownell, Sheriff David Clarke, and some other board members. The trip was for the purpose of building stronger ties between the NRA and gun-rights supporters in Russia.

The financing of the trip has been of interest to both Congressional investigators and to NY Attorney General Letitia James. There have been a complicated series of personal checks and reimbursements which has attracted their attention. According to the article, the NRA’s outside counsel William Brewer III has asserted in internal presentations that “those involved had exposed themselves to wire fraud charges.” Other attorneys disagreed with this assertion.

Brewer is also asserting that Wayne LaPierre was opposed to the trip. This, however, is contradicted by emails from the time which marked trip-related invoices as “Wayne approved”.

While the whole financing issue is of interest to investigators, it is what is buried in this story that caught my attention. In other words, the story within the story. It concerns the bureaucratic infighting between some of LaPierre’s closest associates.

The invoices for the trip were overseen by LaPierre’s closest aide Millie Hallow.

The 2016 transactions were overseen by Millie Hallow, an aide to Mr. LaPierre, according to emails. In one February 2016 email, Ms. Butina sent an invoice directly to Ms. Hallow for “Hosting of NRA leadership group for six days in Moscow,” according to the document, and thanked her “for your invaluable advice these past few months.”

In a May 26 email that year, Ms. Hallow told other N.R.A. officials that an invoice related to the trip submitted by Mr. Brownell’s company, the firearms retailer Brownells, had been authorized: “Wayne approved these special projects involving Outreach that Brownell has done,” she wrote.

Now it appears that Josh Powell, Chief of Staff to LaPierre, is trying to throw Millie under the bus.

On Thursday, Josh Powell, the N.R.A.’s chief of staff, said in a statement that “in order to facilitate the transfer of funds to Brownell, Millie falsely stated that Wayne approved of certain expenses when he had not. In fact, Millie apologized to me (and others) later for the misrepresentation.”

You may remember that in late July I did a blog post regarding Millie Hallow. It detailed how she had been convicted of felony embezzlement while directing the DC Commission on Arts and the Humanities. My impression was that had been kept a closely guarded secret. I had NRA board members tell me they didn’t know Ms. Hallow was a convicted felon until that post was published.

It now appears that someone wants that information in the public domain.

But Ms. Hallow is one of Ms. LaPierre’s closest aides, and raising questions about her credibility comes at an inopportune time. The N.R.A. is relying on her word in its battle with Oliver North, the organization’s former president, who stepped down this year shortly after making a call to Ms. Hallow that N.R.A. officials described as threatening toward Mr. LaPierre. Ms. Hallow also once pleaded guilty to a felony related to the theft of money from an arts agency she ran in Washington. (emphasis mine)

It would be interesting to know which one of Hakim’s sources pointed that out to him. It does serve the purposes of Josh Powell but the question remains whether he is smart enough to made use of it. I don’t see it serving the purpose of Brewer as he needs her to be a credible witness against Ollie North. That is, unless it is more important to protect LaPierre in the Russia investigation than it is to continue the fight against Ollie North. If that is the case then there is a lot more substance to this whole Russia fiasco than we previously thought and it is a lot more dangerous to the personal fortune of LaPierre. Time will tell.

Wayne Needs A Better Attorney

The New York Daily News is not a fan of the NRA. They have made that very clear over the years. They make that very clear when they refer to the NRA’s defunct CarryGuard insurance program as “murder insurance”.

The context was that investigators with the New York Department of Financial Services served a subpoena upon NRA Executive VP Wayne LaPierre. They want to know what Wayne knows or knew about the marketing of CarryGuard. It should come as no surprise that New York officials would want to put Wayne on the record with a sworn deposition.

I can think of a number of reasons that they would do this. They would include harassment, payback for the Federal suit against Gov. Cuomo and former DFS head Maria Vullo, an opportunity to catch Wayne in a lie, and the list goes on.

What struck me about this article was this:

The gun-rights group’s top lawyer said it was “surprised” by the subpoena and noted that LaPierre has “virtually no information” beyond what others have already told investigators.

“The NRA believes the ‘investigation’ was blatantly political in its motivation,” said William A. Brewer III, lead counsel to the NRA, in a statement. “Nonetheless, the NRA has attempted to cooperate with reasonable requests by (New York).”

Any competent attorney should have expected this subpoena. To be surprised by what should have been a foregone conclusion indicates either Brewer is incompetent or that he is trying to create a smokescreen. I know which way I’m leaning but for the moment I’ll reserve judgement.

More On The Purges

The Washington Post has more on the purges at the NRA. It includes comments from Wayne LaPierre, Carolyn Meadows, and Charles Cooper among others. The comments are actually more interesting than the supposed smoking gun texts that were reported in the New York Times.

From Wayne:

“It disturbs me that the NRA’s supposed ‘friends’ — a man I personally recruited to be president of the NRA, our trusted ad agency of four decades, a couple of our attorneys, and a chief lieutenant — would engage in this obviously premeditated extortion scheme to harm our association,” LaPierre said.

Wayne continues to peddle the mythical “extortion” meme as well as pushing the supposed “coup” theme. As to the extortion claim, all we have is the word of Wayne and that of a convicted felon.

From NRA President Carolyn Meadows who thinks Wayne is just the bee’s knees or something like that:

Carolyn Meadows, the NRA’s current president, said in a statement there has been a “malicious smear campaign against the NRA and our leaders.”


“Kernels of ‘truth’ were stripped of context, wrapped in lies, and peddled to the media and unsuspecting audiences,” she said.

Remember that old legal saying that the truth is the absolute defense against libel? If all that has been reported had been a malicious smear (or libel), don’t you think William Brewer III would have started legal proceedings by now so as to earn even more money?

Charles Cooper of Cooper and Kirk did release a statement. He said in the Post:

He “adhered to the highest standards of professionalism and loyalty.”


He said his allegiance was to the nonprofit group, “not to any individual officers or directors of the organization.”


“At every turn, I have advised my client as to my best judgment of the steps that should be taken to advance and protect the best interest of the NRA itself,” Cooper added, declining to comment further.

Given Mr. Cooper’s past positions as both a Supreme Court clerk and as an Assistant Attorney General during the Reagan Administration, I would have expected nothing less from him. He has represented the NRA and fought for the Second Amendment for three decades. There are places his dismissal may well have dire consequences for gun rights.

On Mr. Cooper’s legal ability, Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation noted, ” Charles Cooper and his law firm have done excellent work on Second Amendment issues.”

The key thing to notice about these dismissals and departures is that the attorneys involved have in one way or another crossed William Brewer or are thought to have crossed him. Given he has Wayne’s ear and feeds his paranoid delusions, it is no wonder any possible competitor gets the boot. The worst part about this is that every one of these departures only weakens the NRA when it comes to its core mission of protecting the Second Amendment. It makes one wonder if former NRA Board attorney Steve Hart was correct in his speculation that Brewer could be a “Manchurian candidate”.

The Purge Continues At The NRA

The ascendancy of William Brewer and his law firm at the NRA is almost complete. Danny Hakim of the New York Times reported that Charles Cooper of Cooper and Kirk had been dismissed as an outside counsel to the NRA. Cooper and his firm had handled much of the NRA’s lawsuits in the past number of years.

Now Mr. LaPierre is continuing to purge opponents. On Thursday, the N.R.A. dismissed its longtime outside counsel, Charles J. Cooper, the chairman of the Washington law firm Cooper & Kirk, people with knowledge of the decision said. A second outside counsel and a top in-house counsel resigned. The departures come after an internal inquiry showed that the lawyers were involved in an effort to undermine Mr. LaPierre.

From what I have gathered from multiple sources, the “internal inquiry” consists of Josh Powell and William Brewer dragging people into a room and interrogating them for hours on end. If your inquiry team consists of a business failure and an attorney under an ethical cloud the results will be whatever is most likely to feed Wayne LaPierre’s paranoid fantasy of the day.

But as the informercial says, wait! It gets better.

The N.R.A. is also considering halting payments to its former second in command, Christopher Cox, who left in June but is still on the payroll, said the people, who insisted on anonymity to discuss internal matters.

The article continues with the assertion that Cooper, Cox, and others were secretly working with AckMac as part of the supposed coup to depose Wayne. Hakim in his story says he is working with documents that have come to light as a result of the NRA’s lawsuit against Oliver North. If I had to hazzard a guess, I’d say the documents came from Brewer and his firm as they seem to have Hakim on speed dial.

Hakim concludes his story by writing (and including a link to my blog’s namesake):

The unraveling of lawyers, guns and money coincides with the departures of half a dozen board members in recent weeks. But Mr. LaPierre remains center stage, as polarizing as ever.

“Donald Trump and Wayne LaPierre are made for each other,” said Peter Ambler, executive director of Giffords, the gun control group started by former Representative Gabrielle Giffords. He called them “mirror images” engulfed in “allegations of corruption and mismanagement.”

But Todd Rathner, a member of the N.R.A.’s board, said, “Wayne is leading and proving that he has the political juice to get the job done.”

 Given the White House’s backtracking from what Wayne reported of his conversation with President Trump, I’d question Rathner’s last statement. He might have the juice to purge his supposed enemies within the NRA but I sincerely doubt his political effectiveness on the national scene anymore.

The NRA’s Outside Counsel – Ethical And Billing Concerns

An article concerning William Brewer III, the NRA’s outside counsel, written by Mike Spies appeared yesterday in the New Yorker and was contemporaneously published in ProPublica, and The Trace. I had been told a few weeks ago that rumors about such an article had been swirling amongst the lobbyists on “K Street”. After reading the article, the rumors were true that it would report on his questionable ethics and tactics within the NRA.

Brewer has been the NRA’s outside counsel for approximately the last year and a half. In that time, his firm has billed in the neighborhood of $24 million. He was hired initially to sue Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Department of Financial Services head Maria Vullo, and the NY Department of Financial Services over their warnings to financial services companies on the “reputational risk” of having dealings with the NRA. It was alleged that their actions had cost the NRA millions of dollars in damages. In May, US District Court Judge Thomas McAvoy dismissed the moneydamages  part of the lawsuit against DFS and against Cuomo and Vullo in their official capacities. He did allow the First Amendment part of the case to continue.

Brewer and his firm have recently represented the NRA in their lawsuit against Ollie North and are involved in the cases in Virginia dealing with Ackerman McQueen.

According to the article, senior accountants at the NRA were raising red flags regarding questionable expenditures including payments to Brewer’s firm.

In 2018, accountants for the National Rifle Association began cataloguing for its board of directors questionable financial arrangements that had led to millions of dollars in payments to a group of the organization’s top executives and consultants. The N.R.A. was experiencing cash-flow problems, and the accountants were trying to address what they believed to be serious financial mismanagement.

For a year and a half, the N.R.A. has employed an outside counsel, William A. Brewer III, who represents the organization in high-profile legal disputes and is also deeply involved in its internal decision-making. The accountants believed that the financial dealings they had found could jeopardize the organization’s nonprofit standing with regulators. Yet, according to a former senior official in the N.R.A.’s treasurer’s office, Brewer tried to thwart their efforts to draw attention to the problematic payments.

The former senior employee, Emily Cummins, who worked for twelve years in the N.R.A.’s treasurer’s office, quietly resigned, in November, as the group’s internal strife escalated. Cummins, in a written statement that began circulating this month among N.R.A. leaders, including at least one board member, alleges that Brewer obstructed the work of N.R.A. accountants and vastly exacerbated the organization’s financial woes as he charged it hefty legal fees. Cummins confirmed that she had produced the statement, which was obtained by ProPublica, but declined to provide any additional comments. Brewer’s firm said its work was justified and of the highest quality.

The statement lays out a list of allegations regarding Brewer’s legal work and his treatment of N.R.A. staff as questions surfaced about his law firm’s billings, which totalled twenty-four million dollars in a thirteen month period. In the first quarter of 2019, Brewer’s firm charged over ninety-seven thousand dollars per day, according to internal N.R.A. documents posted anonymously online.

You may remember that then-NRA President Oliver North and 1st VP Richard Childress raised questions regarding the billings of Brewer’s firm in a letter dated April 18th. They referenced advice from then NRA Board Counsel Steve Hart that it was part of their fiduciary duty to ensure the billings were accurate and reasonable. Prior to the Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Mr. Hart was summarily dismissed by Wayne LaPierre even though he was the Board’s counsel and not the NRA’s counsel.

Here is where it gets really interesting. Brewer sought to intimidate NRA staff that questioned his billings, arranged to have his bills paid first, and reportedly threatened to ruin the professional reputations of those accountants using “burn books” or dossiers containing private information.

Cummins accuses Brewer of trying to intimidate, deceive, and silence N.R.A. staff who were processing his bills while growing increasingly troubled by the organization’s mismanagement, exorbitant spending, and questionable deals involving conflicts of interest. Former colleagues of Brewer’s, as well as written correspondence obtained by ProPublica, broadly supported her claims.

Cummins writes in her statement that Brewer “intimidated NRA staff and threatened our professional livelihoods.” She alleges that he used pressure tactics with staffers “to keep them acquiescent,” compiling what she called “burn books” filled with personal information that he could use against individuals.

“I witnessed what appeared to be unrealistic and duplicative billing from Bill Brewer,” Cummins writes. “I witnessed that Bill Brewer himself created a 2018 cash flow crunch by interfering with accounts payable to prioritize paying himself immediately versus other NRA vendors that had been providing goods or services for months without payment, also jeopardizing the NRA’s biweekly staff payroll.”

Ms. Cummins, I was told by a prominent Second Amendment attorney who is personal friends with her, was a true believer in the Second Amendment and gave up a lucrative position with what was then Wachovia Bank. Ms. Cummins is a Certfied Public Accountant, a Certified Internal Auditor, and holds advanced degrees from both George Washington University and George Mason University. She served the NRA as Manager of Tax and Risk Management and then Managing Director of Tax and Risk Management for over 11 years. This is not the type of person who would make unfounded and inaccurate charges. She impresses me as a sober individual who cared deeply about the organization and its mission.

As you can imagine, Brewer, Attorneys and Counselors, have denied compiling burn books as well as any improper or excessive billing on their part. They have built a reputation on being very aggressive in their tactics which also resulted in significant billings. A Dallas publication back in the 1990s referred to Brewer and his previous partner John Bickel as “high-priced, high-profile Rambo lawyers”.

“Bill’s representation of the N.R.A. is a classic example of ‘servicing the client to death,’ ” Hal Marshall, a former Bickel & Brewer partner, told ProPublica. “We tried to leave no stone unturned in our cases, and it often yielded great results. On the other hand, the bills were hefty.”

Brewer and his firm bring with it ethical issues. Currently, Brewer is appealing a fine of $177,000 for attempting to influence potential jurors and witnesses by using a push poll in Lubbock. This fine and admonishment was affirmed by the Texas 7th Court of Appeals in 2018. They concluded that the trial court judge acted appropriately.

If the right to a civil jury trial, enshrined in both the Seventh Amendment to the
United States Constitution and Article I of the Texas Constitution, is going to signify
anything at all, it must denote the right to trial by a fair and impartial jury. Any conduct
that erodes that fundamental core principle erodes public confidence in the entire judicial
process. Judges, attorneys, and litigants must never condone practices that undermine
that principle if the right to a jury trial is to remain “inviolate.”



Here, the trial judge was faced with serious allegations that attorneys for one party
had consciously attempted to preemptively tip the balance of a fair and impartial jury in
favor of their clients. After diligently hearing testimony for several days, the Honorable
Ruben G. Reyes reached the conclusion that counsel’s conduct was committed in bad
faith, that it affected a core function of the court, and that it was sanctionable. He then

set the monetary amount of those sanctions in a rational manner based on competent
evidence before him. Under the record before this court, we cannot say the trial judge
abused his discretion in imposing those sanctions. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial
court is affirmed.

Brewer has since appealed this decision to the Texas Supreme Court. The case appears to have been fully briefed and now awaits either an oral hearing or an order dismissing the appeal. However, his ethical problems in Texas did preclude him from representing the NRA in Virginia where he had applied for pro hac vice participation. US District Court Judge Liam O’Grady was none too pleased by Brewer’s failure to mention that in his motion to appear.

If this were the only ethical case involving Brewer it would be one thing. However, as Spies points out, a number of former associates of Brewer, Attorneys and Counselors, were fired for raising questions about either billing or ethical issues.

In addition to Cummins’s statement, ProPublica obtained text messages and an e-mail composed by former Brewer employees in March, 2018, that alleged unethical behavior by the firm. Four former colleagues of Brewer’s—three of whom, like many firm employees, were abruptly fired during the past two years—described a pattern of disregard for ethical billing and conduct. The texts and e-mail were sent just before the N.R.A. began to heavily invest its dwindling resources in litigation by the firm.

In early March, an attorney who had worked as a Brewer associate sent an e-mail to another New York City-based law firm. The firm worked for a hedge fund that was locked in a legal fight against Eco-Bat, a lead-production company represented by Brewer’s firm. The e-mail warned, “A number of attorneys have recently left Brewer, concerned about the firm’s ethics violations.”

It went on to say that a Brewer attorney believed that he had been fired “for refusal to violate ethical rules.” The attorney thought that he had identified a disqualifiable conflict of interest involving an attorney on his team, the e-mail said. When the Brewer lawyer “confirmed his initial analysis,” the e-mail said, “he was told to drop the matter and terminated the following Monday.”

These allegations were denied by Brewer’s firm. They went on to win the case for Eco-Bat referenced above and the client praised Brewer’s work.

So where was the Board of Directors in this whole affair of questionable and excessive billing and threats to NRA staff. Even more importantly, where was the Audit Committee which was given a report with these concerns? I’ll let Ms. Cummins have the final word on that.

According to Cummins’s statement, Brewer misled the N.R.A.’s board and “used information gathered by NRA staff to fit different purposes and to frame a different story to the board of directors.” It also says that Brewer “effectively silenced NRA staff who uncovered issues needing board of directors attention” and “influenced members of the board” by “selectively withholding information relevant to their decision making.”

Rogers, the Brewer partner, dismissed Cummins’s statement and said that it “may reflect a radical misunderstanding of certain work my firm performed.” Cotton, the N.R.A.’s first vice-president, said, “I am not aware of any concerns that would preclude the firm from representing the N.R.A., period.”

Cummins concludes her statement by saying that, while still an N.R.A. employee, she had tried to sound an alarm regarding the N.R.A.’s legal representation, writing, “I raised concerns about Bill Brewer internally and with the board audit committee.” According to Cummins, she was ignored.

The best you can say is that the Board of Directors was hoodwinked by Brewer and chose to believe him rather than a long-term loyal employee who was raising issues and asking difficult questions.