Oliver North says the National Rifle Association is smearing him because he raised concerns about financial management while he was president of the organization.
North alleged in a court filing Thursday that the NRA “thwarted” his attempts to have the group’s finances audited after he questioned excessive expenditures including legal billings and CEO Wayne LaPierre’s personal expenses, The Associated Press reported.
“LaPierre — demonstrating his total dictatorial control over the NRA … stopped all of North’s inquiries and prevented others at the NRA from looking into the concerns that North raised,” North’s attorneys argued in court documents the AP obtained.
“This included a retaliatory campaign against North, waged by LaPierre and [NRA lead counsel William A. Brewer III], in an effort to stop North from responsibly addressing the allegations against LaPierre and the multimillion-dollar monthly payments to Brewer,” the documents, which were filed in New York state Supreme Court, continued.
The legal filing is in connection to an ongoing lawsuit between North and the NRA, which the group filed in June against North in response to his alleged attempts to collect legal fees. The NRA also accused North of participating in a “coup” against LaPierre.
“The NRA views this as a misguided attempt to deflect from reality; Col. North played a central role in an extortion scheme that caused the issues for which he now seeks indemnification,” Brewer said in a statement.
North announced in April he would not serve a second term amid allegations of extortion made against him by LaPierre, who said that North tried to remove LaPierre by threatening to take financial misconduct allegations public. (RELATED: NRA’s North Won’t Seek 2nd Term After LaPierre Alleges Extortion)
The filing also comes on the heels of the NRA’s recent suspension of chief lobbyist Chris Cox, after alleging that he participated in a coup attempt against LaPierre. Cox subsequently resigned in June. (RELATED: Chris Cox Is Leaving The National Rifle Association)
In addition to the action against North, the gun rights behemoth is involved in litigation against its former marketing partner, Ackerman McQueen, and is also dealing with a U.S. Senate investigation.
Much of the feuding and controversy started after rumors of financial mismanagement were revealed in a detailed New Yorker article on April 17 that described LaPierre’s large expense requirements as well as the group’s considerable legal tab.
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