The New York Times reports that the National Rifle Association has suspended their number two man, Chris Cox. The move follows a lawsuit filed against Oliver North, the former NRA president who reportedly tried to force NRA EVP Wayne LaPierre to step down.
Plenty of us know there has been some bad blood between LaPierre and Cox for some time. However, this move by LaPierre and his cadre will undoubtedly deepen the conflict within the organization’s headquarters and with its members. After all, Cox, Who heads the NRA-ILA didn’t buy ten $20,000 suits and bill them to the NRA.
Nor did he put up sorority girl interns in $4500 condos for their summer internships and bill it to the NRA.
From The New York Times.
The palace intrigue at the National Rifle Association deepened on Thursday as the gun group suspended its second-in-command and top lobbyist, accusing him of complicity in the recent failed coup against its chief executive, Wayne LaPierre.
The accusation came in a lawsuit filed Wednesday night in New York State Supreme Court against Oliver North, the N.R.A.’s former president, who led the attempt to oust Mr. LaPierre shortly before the group’s annual convention in April. The complaint provides fresh detail about the effort against Mr. LaPierre, but it is the involvement of the organization’s No. 2 official, Christopher, W. Cox, that will reverberate.
In the suit, the N.R.A. said that text messages and emails demonstrated that “another errant N.R.A. fiduciary, Chris Cox — once thought by some to be a likely successor for Mr. LaPierre — participated” in what was described as a conspiracy.
The court filing includes text exchanges in which Mr. Cox and a board member appear to be discussing an effort to oust Mr. LaPierre, though the full context is unclear. The N.R.A. is conducting an internal review of the matter, and a spokesman, Andrew Arulanandam, said on Thursday that Mr. Cox had “been placed on administrative leave.”
Mr. Cox, in a statement, said: “The allegations against me are offensive and patently false. For over 24 years I have been a loyal and effective leader in this organization. My efforts have always been focused on serving the members of the National Rifle Association, and I will continue to focus all of my energy on carrying out our core mission of defending the Second Amendment.”
The suit — the latest in a series of legal actions stemming from the gun group’s internal turmoil — is likely to send new shock waves through the N.R.A. While Mr. North served as president for just one year, Mr. Cox has worked for the N.R.A. since 1995 and led its lobbying arm since 2002. He has been a leading presence at the organization’s gatherings, reliably serving up red meat for the N.R.A.’s base.
It seems that instead of trying to let this matter calm down and leave the public eye, the leadership of the NRA doesn’t mind continuing to pour gasoline on this internal conflict.
Here’s the AP’s report on the Cox suspension and the lawsuit against North.
NEW YORK (AP) — The National Rifle Association has sued its former president, Oliver North, for what it called “conduct harmful to the NRA” as turmoil that was exposed publicly when North resigned two months ago continued Thursday when the organization also turned against its longtime chief lobbyist.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday in New York sought a judge’s declaration that the NRA isn’t required to pay North’s legal bills.
North stepped down from the post in April after serving for a year. The lawsuit said he “departed office after a widely publicized, failed coup attempt.”
The suit also accused top NRA official Chris W. Cox of conspiring with North to oust the organization’s chief executive, Wayne LaPierre.
The New York Times reported that the NRA has suspended Cox, who said the allegations were “offensive and patently false.”
A message left for North through his website wasn’t immediately returned. An NRA spokesman did not return multiple messages.
Cox has been the executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, the NRA’s political and lobbying arm, since 2002.
Its website boasts that Cox has “achieved some of its most significant political and legislative victories.”
Yet, the lawsuit said, “another errant NRA fiduciary, Chris Cox — once thought by some to be a likely successor for Mr. LaPierre — participated” in North’s conspiracy to enable the NRA’s longtime advertising agency, Ackerman McQueen Inc., which employed North, to gain control of its largest client.
“As became widely publicized, Mr. LaPierre prevailed — and the attempted coup by Ackerman, spearheaded by North, failed,” the lawsuit said.
“North has acted in the best interests of himself and Ackerman and at the expense of the interests of the NRA, engaged in conduct harmful to the NRA, and persistently failed to provide to the NRA important details related to his lucrative contract with Ackerman,” the lawsuit said.
Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for NRA’s lobbying arm who was quoted by the Times saying that “any notion Chris participated in a coup is absurd,” responded to a message seeking comment Thursday with an email saying she is not authorized to discuss personnel matters.
Last month, the NRA and Ackerman sued each other. The NRA said Ackerman had soiled its reputation and breached confidentiality agreements while Ackerman maintained the NRA had damaged its business.
North, 75, was a military aide to the National Security Council in the 1980s when his role arranging the secret sale of weapons to Iran and the diversion of the proceeds to the anti-communist Contra rebels in Nicaragua was revealed.
In 1989, he was convicted of obstructing Congress during its investigation, destroying government documents and accepting an illegal gratuity. Two years later, the convictions were reversed.