On Tuesday, The New Yorker reported that a former National Rifle Association employee alleges William Brewer, the outside attorney hired to defend the organization, has been accused of blocking the accounting audits, while bilking the group for exorbitant legal fees that added to their already-mounting financial problems.
"The accountants believed that the financial dealings they had found could jeopardize the organization’s nonprofit standing with regulators. Yet, according to a former senior official in the N.R.A.’s treasurer’s office, Brewer tried to thwart their efforts to draw attention to the problematic payments," wrote The New Yorker's Mike Spies.
"The former senior employee, Emily Cummins, who worked for twelve years in the N.R.A.’s treasurer’s office, quietly resigned, in November, as the group’s internal strife escalated," wrote Spies. "Cummins, in a written statement that began circulating this month among N.R.A. leaders, including at least one board member, alleges that Brewer obstructed the work of N.R.A. accountants and vastly exacerbated the organization’s financial woes as he charged it hefty legal fees."
The allegation is the latest in a series of woes for the gun rights group, which has faced accusations of conflicts of interest as its executives drew up sweetheart contracts with the NRA's erstwhile advertising firm Ackerman McQueen, sometimes while drawing a salary from both groups. These tensions spilled over into the public eye in April, when the NRA's new president Oliver North stepped down amid a bitter feud with CEO Wayne LaPierre.