Former congressman and National Rifle Association board member retired Lt. Col. Allen West called on the gun rights group to replace longtime CEO Wayne LaPierre in a Tuesday blog post amid allegations of lavish spending and financial mismanagement.
West, who represented Florida in the House of Representatives from 2011 to 2013, wrote he was concerned over statements made by new NRA President Carolyn Meadows and others supporting LaPierre in a recent Wall Street Journal article about alleged financial impropriety.
“There is a cabal of cronyism operating within the NRA and that exists within the Board of Directors,” West wrote. “It must cease, and I do not care if I draw their angst. 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.”
The Journal article described a trove of leaked internal NRA documents posted anonymously online that detailed $542,000 that LaPierre allegedly billed to the group’s ad agency, Ackerman McQueen, for shopping in a Beverly Hills botique, travel, cars and other expenses. The travel allegedly included more than $200,000 in “Air Transportation” costs related to a two-week trip over Christmas to the Bahamas.
In his post, West said he was not “told, advised, informed or consulted” of the details mentioned in the story. Meadows said the board “is fully aware of these issues” and that “We have full confidence in Wayne LaPierre,” according to the Journal.
In a statement to Fox News on Tuesday, the NRA said it “is unfortunate that certain board members have resorted to making false and misleading public statements about proceedings of the NRA board of directors.”
"It shocks the conscience to read that certain board members have apparently not kept themselves updated, informed and active on matters that are of interest to our 5 million members. They have an open invitation to get more actively involved – and to join the conversation in an appropriate way, as is provided for in our Bylaws," the statement continued.
West previously called for LaPierre to step down before the NRA’s annual convention in Indianapolis last month. The organization has been beset by infighting, which LaPierre acknowledged in a letter to the board to accuse then-NRA president Oliver North of trying to extort him into stepping down. North resigned days later.
He also called on the NRA to trim its 76-member board to 30 members or less who would be limited to four terms.