The National Rifle Association, based in Fairfax, VA, now in the midst of “political turmoil and accusations of fiscal mismanagement, has sued its longtime public relations firm, accusing it of engineering a failed “coup” attempt by leaking damaging information to undermine the NRA’s leadership,” reports Time.
The Time post stated that the PR firm, Ackerman McQueen Inc. “fired back with a breach-of-contract countersuit, claiming the NRA is just trying to get out of its service agreement with the firm.
“The NRA accused Ackerman McQueen in the lawsuit Wednesday of trying to foment the ouster of its Chief Executive Officer Wayne LaPierre by giving the news media details about his spending on items including expensive clothing and lavish foreign travel.
“Those allegations were raised by NRA President Oliver North, who said he’d created a committee to examine financial wrongdoing at the group and urged LaPierre to resign. LaPierre accused North of trying to extort him, and their battle came to a head with North’s ouster at last month’s NRA convention in Indianapolis.
“In a “remarkable” breach of trust motivated by a desire to avoid scrutiny of its own activities, Ackerman McQueen “undertook a campaign to tarnish and ultimately destroy the public image of the NRA and its senior leadership,” according to the complaint filed in state court in Alexandria, Virginia.”
The Time post also stated that “Ackerman McQueen claimed in its lawsuit Thursday that the NRA misrepresented crucial facts about its relationship with North and his employment. The NRA is trying to transfer Ackerman McQueen’s business without paying severance, as is required under the contract, according to the lawsuit. The firm seeks $50 million in damages.
“The relationship between Ackerman McQueen and the NRA has come under scrutiny in recent months, amid reports that some of NRA’s top officials were also receiving payments or perks from the advertising and PR firm.”