The president of the National Association of Realtors says she’s resigning after a blackmail threat

NAR President Tracy Kasper.

Courtesy: NAR

The president of the National Association of Realtors said Monday she is resigning over a blackmail threat that sought to “compromise” her leadership role.

NAR President Tracy Kasper said she notified the group’s leadership team “that she recently received a threat to disclose a past personal, non-financial matter unless she jeopardizes her position at NAR.”

Kasper, a married mother of seven grown children, “refused to do so and instead reported the threat to law enforcement,” NAR said in a statement.

President-elect Kevin Sears will take up his position immediately at the group, which represents more than 1.5 million members working in residential and commercial real estate.

Kasper, 55, did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

In a statement, NAR said, “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.”

Kasper’s predecessor as president, Kenny Parcell, resigned in August, two days after The New York Times published a story detailing allegations that he sexually harassed women he worked with.

NAR CEO Bob Goldberg resigned in November, months before he had planned to resign, after a federal jury found the group and some real estate agents were responsible for conspiring to artificially inflate brokerage commissions on home sales. NAR was ordered to pay $1.78 billion in that case.

In a statement Monday, Kasper said, “As president and longtime member of NAR, I have always put the interests of NAR first.”

“In the wake of the recent threat and given the significance of this moment for me, my family and the organization, it is time again for me to put NAR’s interests first,” said Kasper, who previously served as the group’s president in 2016.

NAR declined to comment beyond its statement.

The group’s executive committee weeks ago adopted a lifetime ban on group actions for any elected NAR officer who resigns or is removed from office, The New York Times recently reported. The ban, enacted in response to Parcell’s resignation, now applies to Kasper.

Kasper is a broker and owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Silverhawk Realty in Boise Valley, Idaho. and majority owner of two other real estate companies in the state, according to her NAR bio.

The grandmother of six has served on the NAR Board of Directors since 2016.

—More news from CNBC’s Diana Olicková.

Correction: Kasper is a broker and owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Silverhawk Realty in Boise Valley, Idaho. In an earlier version, the location was incorrect.

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