LaPierre’s Well-Paid Special Travel Agent

While we’re on the subject of things flying below the radar screen, let’s talk about one Gayle Sanford, an outside vendor whose sole duty was to arrange executive jets to fly the LaPierres around the country, and to Nebraska to visit or pick up Susan’s niece, and to the Bahamas for vacation on the yacht. Those executive jets rent for $7,000 and up per flight-hour, plus room and board for the crew.

The NY Attorney General draws a focus on her operations. In the amended complaint, paragraphs 184 and on, those are detailed. Her sole duty was to arrange the jets for the LaPierres, and sometimes for the high-rolling head of Advancement. Until 2012, she was paid $15,000 a month. In 2015, that was upped to $19,000 a month. Then Woody Phillips told her to begin adding a 10% commission onto the tab for the planes and keep that. Later Ackerman McQueen began paying her $4,000 a month in addition. In 2018, this one person, working very much part-time, drew $2.6 million from NRA. Oh, and she wasn’t licensed as a travel agent.

When Phillips retired, she got an annual contract for a mere $318,000. A pay cut.

When Lapierre was asked how she came to be hired and paid, he said he left that all to Phillips. When Phillips was required to testify, and asked what work she did for NRA and how she came to be hired, he took the Fifth.

When she testified, she seemed a bit bewildered. She had billed through her company, then Phillips had her create a second company, one to bill NRA, one to bill NRA-ILA. LaPierre had instructed her, when billing, to omit any mention of Nebraska or the Bahamas as destinations (page 62-75).

She arranged the flights through Corporate America Aviation, which offers ““Global Corporate/Luxury Air Travel for Executives, Travel Agents, Event Planners and High net-worth travelers.”

How much work does that involve? It turns out they have a webpage and an 800 number, where you punch in your departure and destination, and they give you a quote.

Who does this person know? $318,000 – $2.6 million a year to call an 800 number or visit a webpage a few times a month? Or was it worth that much to have someone arranging this without anyone in HQ knowing, someone who was willing to omit certain destinations from their invoices?

3 thoughts on “LaPierre’s Well-Paid Special Travel Agent

  1. I just shake my head. It is not just LaPierre who needs to go. Most of the high-level staff need to go, and most of the directors on the board need to go. The level of dishonesty, theft, and graft are beyond ghastly. NO ONE who had any vote in this mess who did anything other than shout from the rooftops about this theft should be left standing.


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