NAR President Kasper resigns following blackmail threat

National Association of Realtors President Tracy Kasper has resigned following a threat made against her, the trade group said Monday.

“Kasper informed NAR’s Leadership Team that she recently received a threat to disclose a past personal, non-financial matter unless she compromised her position at NAR,” NAR said in a written statement. “She refused to do so and instead reported the threat to law enforcement. Ms. Kasper felt that, in the circumstances, it was best for the organization that she step down. The Leadership Team is deeply concerned about any attempt to undermine its governance and, as a result, is taking steps to protect the integrity of the organization.”

Tracy Kasper
Tracy Kasper

NAR did not disclose who made the threat or what specifically they intended to disclose in the blackmail attempt.

The scandal-plagued trade group appointed President-elect Kevin Sears to step into Kasper’s role effective immediately.

“As president and a long-time member of NAR, I always have put the interests of NAR first. As a result of the recent threat and given the significance of this moment for myself, my family and the organization, it is again time for me to put the interests of NAR first,” Kasper said in a statement. “So, it is with a mix of gratitude and a heavy heart that I submit my resignation as your president effective immediately. In doing so, it gives our Leadership Team the ability to take the reins and forge forward in effecting the change that we all have worked so hard over the past few months to begin. I know I leave our members, our staff and our association in good hands.”

Kasper, a Realtor from Idaho, stepped into the spotlight following the resignation of former NAR President Kenny Parcell, who quit amid a sexual harassment scandal at the 1.5 million-member trade group. Other departures include Bob Goldberg, the CEO, who left following the $5.3 billion verdict in the Sitzer-Burnett commission trial; and Donna Gland, who led human resources.

“While the NAR Accountability Project strongly believed it was time for a change in leadership at NAR, the circumstances surrounding Ms. Kasper’s resignation are of great concern,” said Jason Haber, an NAR critic who leads the activist group. “No one should be the victim of threats, intimidation or harassment.  If that happened to Ms. Kasper, that person should be prosecuted to the fullest extent under the law. ”