NRA board of directors re-elects Wayne LaPierre as executive vice president By Reuters

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© Reuters. ARCHIVE PHOTO: Wayne LaPierre, Director General of the National Rifle Association (NRA), speaks at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum during the annual National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Houston, Texas, USA, May 27, 2022. REUTERS / Shannon Stapleton

By Daniel Trotta

(Reuters) – The National Rifle Association board re-appointed Wayne LaPierre as executive vice president on Monday, revoking the latest leadership challenge amid allegations of corruption and membership in the still-powerful gun lobby.

The board’s vote came as the NRA held its annual meeting in Houston, about 280 miles (450 km) east of the site of a mass shooting on Tuesday, when an 18-year-old man was armed with a rifle. AR-15 style semi-automatic killed. 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school.

Conservative activist Allen West, a retired military officer and former U.S. congressman from Florida, challenged LaPierre, who is also fighting a lawsuit by New York Attorney General Letitia James seeking to remove LaPierre from office.

The NRA said there was a vote against LaPierre, who is also an NRA CEO, at the 76-member board. Monday’s board vote came after members who paid dues on Saturday voted overwhelmingly in support of LaPierre.

Phil Journey, the only board member to vote against LaPierre and in favor of West, said the vote was 54-1. Journey, a judge in the Sedgwick County, Kansas District Court, is trying to reform the NRA from within and prevent James from asserting control over the group if imposed on his lawsuit.

James filed the lawsuit in 2020, alleging that NRA leaders paid for family trips to the Bahamas, private jets, and expensive food and clothing that contributed to a $ 64 million reduction in the NRA’s balance sheet. in three years, turning a surplus into a deficit.

In March, a New York judge rejected James’ request to dissolve the NRA, but said he could go ahead with other goals in the lawsuit, including the removal of LaPierre.

The NRA says it has undergone a “course correction” by strengthening oversight, promoting whistleblowers and getting LaPierre to reimburse the group for expenses on personal items.

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