NRA sues North, saying he harmed it
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.