A lawyer representing New York’s attorney general accused National Rifle Association leader Wayne LaPierre of hiding from its board his plan to put the gun rights group into bankruptcy.

Mr. LaPierre unilaterally authorized the January chapter 11 filing without proper NRA board approval, Gerrit Pronske, a lawyer representing the New York attorney general’s office, said during a virtual hearing on Wednesday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Dallas.

“Filing this bankruptcy was NRA’s best-kept secret,” Mr. Pronske said, “Except, you can’t keep an act secret from the persons who need to approve the act.”

The allegation, which the NRA denies, is a basis for New York Attorney General Letitia James’s argument that the bankruptcy case was filed in bad faith and should be thrown out or, alternatively, that an independent trustee should be appointed to take charge of the NRA, wresting control from Mr. LaPierre and the board. Ms. James filed a lawsuit last August seeking to dissolve the organization.

The NRA, a New York registered nonprofit organization since 1871, said in a news release that the bankruptcy was appropriately filed and is part of a broader strategy to depart a “toxic political environment” and reincorporate in Texas.

This post first appeared on wsj.com

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