NRA board member Allen West urges CEO LaPierre to step down

NRA board member Allen West urges CEO LaPierre to step down

A prominent National Rifle Association (NRA) board member and former congressman called on the lobbying group to “clean its own house” and replace longtime CEO Wayne LaPierre in a blog post Tuesday.

In the post, retired Lt. Col. Allen West, who represented Florida in the House of Representatives from 2011 to 2013, said he was pulling his backing for LaPierre’s re-election and accused LaPierre and his defenders of "outright lies."

The move comes after a bombshell report by the Wall Street Journal revealed tens of thousands of dollars in mismanaged spending by top officials. 

“It has become very apparent that I need to speak out about what is happening at the National Rifle Association,” West wrote. “I have never been told, advised, informed, or consulted about any of these details mentioned in the WSJ, and who knows how much more despicable spending of members’ money."

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West said he had called for LaPierre to step down ahead of the NRA’s annual meeting, which took place in April in Indianapolis. During the meeting, LaPierre wrote to the organization’s board to accuse North of extorting him and demanding his resignation, which LaPierre called “a threat meant to intimidate and divide us.”

North had sent his own letter to the NRA board citing over $200,000 of clothing purchases LaPierre allegedly charged to a vendor.

“There is a cabal of cronyism operating within the NRA and that exists within the Board of Directors. It must cease, and I do not care if I draw their angst,” West wrote. “It sickens me to publicly make this statement, but I will not allow anyone to damage my honor, integrity, character, and reputation. Needless to say, there are those who have willingly done so to their own.”

In the statement, West also calls the NRA’s current 76-member board “too large,” saying it should be cut to 30 or less, all of whom are limited to four terms.

Another board member, Timothy Knight shared a similar message, claiming he was unaware of the financial issues. 

“I certainly did not know all those things being leaked nor do I believe that the whole Board was aware,” Knight wrote. He added that he would “most likely lose my committee assignments and not be renominated” to the board for speaking out.