Mr LaPierre is seeking bankruptcy to help reintegrate the NRA into the more gun-friendly state of Texas and has already repaid about $ 300,000 to the NRA when he tried to keep his job. When asked if he was disciplined for having spent the money incorrectly, he said, “Yes, I was disciplined, I paid it back.” In the NRA, discipline sometimes means paying back money after you get caught.
Whether his bankruptcy game will work remains to be seen. To convince Judge Hale that the NRA’s petition should be denied during a trial that began last week, attorneys for Attorney General Letitia James and a major creditor – the NRA’s former advertising firm, Ackerman McQueen – presented evidence to Mr LaPierre had maliciously applied for bankruptcy protection.
Proving that a filing was made in bad faith can be tricky as it means there is intent to be shown. However, Monica Connell, an assistant attorney general, argued that Mr. LaPierre had no authority to bankrupt the NRA himself and had used a “twisted” ploy to get the board of directors to inadvertently grant the necessary approval.
Instead of submitting a bankruptcy order to the board, Mr. LaPierre’s team asked the board to vote on a new employment contract for him. It looked like reform as it reduced its golden parachute.
However, the contract contained an unobtrusive provision that gave Mr. LaPierre “without limitation” the authority “to reorganize or reorganize the affairs of the association for the purpose of minimizing costs, complying with legal requirements or otherwise”.
The new contract was first presented to a committee of the NRA board on January 7th in a closed session. There weren’t enough copies and no one could leave with one. NRA officials said board members had ample time to review.
By this point, LaPierre’s principal outside attorney, the law firm William A. Brewer III, had spent months planning bankruptcy and amassing millions of dollars in legal fees. But nobody told the board about it. After the committee emerged from its closed meeting, the board approved the contract with little inkling that it had put bankruptcy authority over to Mr LaPierre.