Sonya Rowling became NRA CFO and Treasurer after LaPierre fired her predecessor, Craig Spray. (Just to be clear, Rowling and Spray both seem to be honest; it was Spray’s predecessor, treasurer Woody Phillips, who was involved in so many suspicious deals and took the Fifth about them). Here is her deposition. The high points:
P. 21 LaPierre has not turned in expense reports for 2019 (deposition was taken in March 2021). This suggests to us that he doesn’t want anyone seeing them until the court cases are done and they can’t be subpoenaed.
P. 25-26. NRA HQ issued American Express cards to certain individuals. Charges to them got minimal review — Rick Tedrick, then the treasurer.
P. 63. What effort did NRA make to ensure that Ackerman McQueen wasn’t “passing through” improper travel billings? Answer: the treasurer (Woody Phillips) was neglecting his duties there.
P. 66. Why did LaPierre personally sign the 2019 IRS Form 990? Objection, attorney-client privilege. (Always before, it’d been signed by the treasurer, but Craig Spray refused to sign it after no one would show him supporting materials or vouch for it. This was probably what got him fired).
P. 71. On the 990, it says that a copy has been provided to all members of the corporation’s governing body (the board) before it was filed. But it wasn’t. Why? Objection, attorney-client, it was done on advice of counsel.
P. 88. Thinks Millie Hallow repaid NRA for money misappropriated, but doesn’t know. (Remember, this is the treasurer and CFO).
P. 113. Whistleblowers’ concerns were prompted by Carry Guard (the disastrous insurance program). And “There were — we were asked as an accounting department to do some things outside of our practices that we were not comfortable with at all.”
P. 130 ff. A description of the meeting where the whistleblowers made their report to the Audit Committee. The whistleblowers requested that board attorney Steve Hart leave the room–sounds like they were concerned he was so enthusiastic in favor of their report that he might go overboard. Says a lot for him, and suggests why LaPierre promptly fired him. Meeting lasted somewhat over an hour. Audit Committee chair Charles Cotton and member Carolyn Meadows left in the first five minutes (!!!! This wasn’t important enough to listen? More likely, they didn’t want to get involved).
P. 135. Rowling’s notes show she was concerned the meeting was being manipulated so as to focus on the problems discussed as if they were narrow issues to be papered-over, when the issues were serious and broad.
P. 142. NRA is paying Marion Hammer’s attorneys in her (private, and failed) lawsuit alleging email harassment. (So NRA is paying her attorneys, when if she had won, she and not NRA would have gotten the money).
P. 146. List of some (former) holders of NRA Amex cards at the time of the bankruptcy. “Craig (Spray), Rick (Tedrick), Carolyn Meadows and Charles Cotton, Joe — Joe DeBergalis.”
P. 149-150. Whistleblowers’ concerns included $1.8 million paid for rental of a house owned by David Stanton, a/k/a David McKenzie, an owner of Associated TV. (and of several NRA vendors, and who gave LaPierre stays on his yacht in the Bahamas). She is not aware of any NRA investigation of Associated TV. Concerns also that one of Stanton/McKenzie’s companies, MMP, was billing NRA in excess of its contract amounts.
P. 170-172. MMP, one of Stanton/McKenzie’s companies, had a contract calling for it to be paid $400,000 a month, yet it was billing and being paid $961,850 a month. Her understanding was that treasurer Woody Phillips had verbally approved the larger billings. (We’re talking a half-million a month). She cannot recall who told her that. (Yes, everything is out of control, to where a half million a month just slips through the cracks).
P. 173. Since Craig Spray became treasurer, is she aware of any agreement with MMP to increase their pay? She is not aware of it. (This is the CFO speaking, who before then was the head of accounting operations).
P. 260. Counsel observes that the Brewer law firm received $17.5 million in the last 90 days, and over $50 million over the last 2-3 years.
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3 thoughts on “Deposition Of NRA Treasurer Sonya Rowling”
Note to NRA Directors: Saying “I didn’t know,” is not a legally supported excuse. It’s your job to know. You have a legal responsibility to know, and if you didn’t know, and didn’t aggressively and loudly do everything you could to find out, then you are legally culpable for all of it. Expect NY v. NRA Round 2 to focus on the failures of the Board of Directors to rein in the corruption. And NRA’s B&O insurance isn’t going to cover your legal expenses. The corruption displayed since the NY lawsuit was filed is far worse, and has been far more costly, than the corruption that triggered the suit.
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Jeezum Crow…just, c’mon man!
We in The 2A Fight sure could’ve used the vaunted, feared 800-lb gorilla, challenging with lawsuits and legislation at the state level, #RepealTheNFA, #NationalReciprocity and so on.
Instead, this anemic, floundering 350-lb ape can’t get out of its own corrupt cage.
Ah well, Aunty Anti and her bloomberg minions won’t wait. No soup for even you, ILA!
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And now in my state of Michigan, the entire government is Democratic, and our Empress of Lansing, Whitmer announced in her acceptance speech that gun control was among her top priorities. I saw this coming, and yet the NRA did not have a voice here.
That 50 million could have been used to bolster some of the races that were cake walks for the Democrats. The dereliction of duty did not just occur in the finances of the organization, but in the battles that were NOT fought, due to preoccupation with CYA of the Kings and Queens of the group.
I continue to maintain my membership, and hope that the ship will become righted and the criminal activities of those at the top will end with their being taken to account. But I am beginning to feel like they are willing to destroy the proud history of the group that was in many ways responsible for the winning of WWII, with training riflemen for the battles, and for many battles fought since, here on our home front. That will be a sad day for all of America.