Another NRA Board Member Calls for Wayne LaPierre’s Ouster as NPR Reports NRA Has Frozen Employee Pension Plan amid Poor Finances
Another NRA board member has joined Lt. Col. Allen West, an NRA board member and former U.S. Representative in calling for NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre’s resignation. The calls came after press reports about NRA LaPierre’s lavish spending through NRA vendor Ackerman McQueen, an issue which NRA President Carolyn Meadows said the “entire board is fully aware of.”
The latest board member to call for LaPierre’s resignation, Timothy Knight, said in a Facebook post that directors weren’t informed of the NRA’s financial issues, while the “NRA’s focus of late has been trying to cover up the financial malfeasance of the last 20 years.” In West’s call for LaPierre’s resignation, he accused the chairman of the NRA’s audit committee, Charles Cotton, and NRA President Carolyn Meadows of “outright lies” when they said that the entire board was fully aware of new details about LaPierre’s lavish spending.
Knight’s full statement reads:
As I have already expressed, I am very concerned about the course of our Association. I must always be focused on its stated purposes and objectives. Unfortunately, the NRA’s focus of late has been trying to cover up the financial malfeasance of the last 20 years. Therefore, I do not agree with the statements put out by Charles Cotton and Carolyn Meadows. The majority of the Board did NOT know about the misuse of Member dues. What has been leaked to the press came as an unwelcome surprise to many of us. And it erodes all confidence in management’s ability to lead the NRA. I do not support Wayne LaPierre continuing as Executive Vice President/CEO nor do I support Josh Powell continuing as Wayne’s Chief of Staff. The Assocation desperately needs to regain the confidence of its Members, and that can only happen with new management prepared to lead NRA and right the wrongs of the past.
I 100% agree with Lieutenant Colonel Allen West and fully support what he wrote earlier today.
Yours in Liberty,
NRA Board of Directors
And today, several former NRA rank-and-file employees told NPR’s Tim Mak about “low wages, pension problems and a culture of fear within the organization that treated ordinary staff very differently than its leadership.”
The piece uncovers that the NRA froze its employee pension program in 2018 and “underfunded pensions affecting hundreds of former and current employees — even as LaPierre made $1.4 million in 2017, according to the group’s most recent financial disclosures.” According to CharityWatch, a nonprofit watchdog, LaPierre is the eighth-highest compensated nonprofit leader in the country, but if hospitals or medical professionals are excluded, he is the second-highest compensated.
“NPR obtained a copy of 2019 National Rifle Association pension documents from a source with direct access to them. Brian Mittendorf, who chairs the Department of Accounting at Ohio State University, helped NPR review these documents.
“They show that the NRA’s pension obligations were approximately $134 million at the beginning of this year, but they had only set aside just $93 million to meet those obligations.
“They also show that the NRA’s pension situation has become more troubling in the past few years. There are 786 individuals currently in the NRA’s pension plan, of which 223 are current employees at the organization.
“Buried at the bottom of one page of the pension report, in a bullet point, the NRA said it had implemented a freeze to their pension plan in 2018. This means that even current employees who are in the plan can no longer accrue new benefits despite continuing to work for the organization.
“In effect, it is the most an organization can do to cut pension benefits without completely terminating its plan,” Mittendorf said.
“The freeze in benefits for employees who participate in the pension plan is in contrast to a one-time $3,767,345 supplemental retirement payment LaPierre received in 2015 according to the NRA’s public disclosures.”