Wayne LaPierre has led the National Rifle Association for 30 years, but his implacable image looked threadbare in bankruptcy court.
For three decades, Wayne LaPierre has been the implacable face of the gun lobby, a scourge of the left who argued that giving ground on gun control was akin to giving up on America. So it was remarkable to see the shambolic turn his tenure atop the National Rifle Association has taken showcased last week in federal bankruptcy court in Dallas.
Mr. LaPierre acknowledged that he had secretly taken the N.R.A. into bankruptcy without telling even his top lieutenants or most of his board essentially as an end run around attacks from the New York attorney general, who is seeking to shut down the group amid charges of financial mismanagement and corruption. And he made a string of admissions that served largely to underscore the N.R.A.s disarray and the questions about his own fitness to lead it.
He didnt know, he testified, that his former chief financial officer had received a $360,000-a-year consulting contract after leaving under a cloud.
He didnt know that the personal travel agent the N.R.A. had hired to book charter flights for him and his family the Bahamas was a favorite destination was charging a 10 percent booking fee on top of a retainer that could reach $26,000 a month.