A top official of the National Rifle Association who was accused of sexual harassment is reportedly out of the organization.
Joshua Powell, who was most recently serving as the NRA’s chief of staff, was placed on leave pending an investigation by the NRA counsel, stated a court filing late last month, The Washington Post reported.
But according to an internal email obtained by Newsweek, Powell is no longer employed by the NRA.
“Several directors have reported receiving media queries regarding Josh Powell and his employment status with the Association,” NRA counsel John Frazer wrote in the email, according to Newsweek. “For the sake of clarity, we note that Josh is no longer employed by the NRA.”
Powell’s leave was noted in a court filing in Virginia, part of a series of lawsuits between the NRA and its former public relations agency, Ackerman McQueen, related to expenditures and media leaks, according to the Post.
Powell is leaving amid investigations by attorneys general of both New York and Washington, D.C., into the finances of the tax-exempt organization. Powell’s salary increased 18% last year to nearly $920,000, according to the Post, while LaPierre got a 57% boost to $2.15 million.
Powell’s involvement in the NRA as executive director of general operations had previously been reduced after he faced accusations of sexual harassment. Ackerman McQueen complained that in 2018 company officials had “clear reason to believe” that Powell “sexually harassed one of our senior employees.” The NRA refused to address the issue and kept Powell in a top position, with “the full support” of NRA Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre, according to an August statement from the group.
ProPublica reported last year that Powell had also been accused earlier of sexual harassment — of an NRA staff member. That accusation was settled in 2017, using funds from the nonprofit organization, according to sources. The NRA’s counsel told ProPublica that Powell denied the allegation.
Neither Powell nor the NRA could immediately be reached for comment.