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President of National Association of Realtors resigns amid misconduct allegations

President of National Association of Realtors resigns amid misconduct allegations

The president of the National Association of Realtors has resigned three days after a New York Times investigation exposed allegations of sexual misconduct by the leader of real estate’s most powerful trade group.

Three women, who worked at the Chicago-based group, said they were sexually harassed by Parcell. They and others at the nonprofit described a pattern of behavior that included improper touching and lewd photos and texts.

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The Times’ expose recounted complaints from 29 employees and former leaders who told the newspaper that even after years of complaints of sexual harassment, discrimination and retribution by Parcell and other leaders, little changed.

NAR, with 1.5 million dues-paying members, has more than $1 billion in assets and controls access to nearly every American home listing.

Kaki Lybbert, 69, a Texas Realtor who served on NAR’s leadership board last year, told the Times that harassment had become ingrained in NAR culture. At conferences and official NAR gatherings, Lybbert said she saw Parcell ostracize female Realtors who failed to flatter him — behavior he did not repeat with men.

“I’ve seen up close and personal how people are treated, and it made me sick to my stomach,” she said.

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Parcell denied Lybbert’s allegations. “In fact, I do not know what these allegations are referring to or have any frame of reference for this,” he told the Times.

In a letter from Parcell posted at Inman.com on Monday, NAR’s president offered his resignation and wrote he was “deeply troubled by those looking to tarnish my character and mischaracterize my well-intended actions. I’ve been shocked by these false accusations, hurtful words, whispers, and character assassination.”

The New York Times contributed to this report.

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