Infighting on display at NRA as president Oliver North steps down

Infighting on display at NRA as president Oliver North steps down
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    A contentious public infi ht within the National Ri le Association came to a ead on Saturday with the rganization's president, etired Lt. Col. Oliver No th, announcing that he wi l not return for a second term.
    North had intended to mak an appearance at the org nization's national conve tion in Indianapolis over the weekend, but instead f attending, Richard Chil ress, who serves as one o the NRA's current vice p esidents, read a letter o his behalf.
    "Please note, I hoped to e with you today as inter m president endorsed for eelection. I'm now inform d that will now not happe ," Childress read to a co vention hall full of NRA embers. "I've been on the NRA board for more than t o decades, it was a great privilege to serve as you president this past year "
    North's departure comes a id a heated battle with W yne LaPierre, chief execu ive officer and the longt me spiritual leader of th NRA. North reportedly as ed LaPierre to resign fro his post earlier this we k as the organization fac s challenges surrounding undraising and its nonpro it status, the New York T mes reported.
    The organization's 2016 e ection spending, includin $36 million to help Trum , has prompted regulators in its charter base of Ne York state to threaten t investigate its nonprofi status.
    North told organization b ass that he created a com ittee to investigate poss ble financial improprieti s committed by the organi ation, the Times reported North also sent a letter to the board with allegat ons that LePierre charged a vendor more than $200,0 0 on wardrobe purchases, ccording to The Wall Stre t Journal.
    In response, LePierre sen a letter to the NRA boar alleging he was being ex orted and pressured by No th, who threatened to rel ase "damaging" informatio about him if he did not esign, according to the J urnal. LaPierre said he r fused and called on board members to "see this for hat it is: a threat meant to intimidate and divide s."
    The dispute between the t o NRA titans was triggere in part after the organi ation filed a lawsuit aga nst advertising firm Acke man McQueen, alleging the agency was not being tran parent with how it used N A money, according to the Journal. The NRA paid Ack rman McQueen $42.6 millio in 2017, making it the g oup's largest vendor, the Journal reported.
    The lawsuit is also conne ted to a looming investig tion by New York state re ulators seeking to re-exa ine the NRA's tax exempti n status as a non-profit.
    North, who accepted a "sa aried position" with Acke man McQueen, said that th lawsuit was filed withou notice to the board, acc rding to the letter read y Childress.
    LaPierre alleged that Nor h has "contractual and fi ancial loyalties" to Acke man McQueen and was, ther fore, protecting them, ac ording to the Journal.
    North, a central figure i the Iran-Contra scandal, was selected last year to be the NRA's president an his term will end on Mon ay.
    The 76 member NRA board w ll face pressing decision when it meets on Monday.
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