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NAR Warned About Former President’s Alleged Sexual Misconduct Over A Year Before Claims Went Public


The National Association of Realtors received a memo raising concerns about the behavior of members of its leadership team more than a year before former President Kenny Parcell resigned in August in the wake of a New York Times report detailing sexual harassment allegations. 

The leaked memo obtained by Inman claims that organizational leadership knew about a “hostile, toxic work environment” as far back as early 2022, before Parcell officially transitioned into the presidency. It accuses members of the seven-person leadership team of racist and abusive behavior, per The Real Deal.

The National Association of Realtors headquarters at 430 North Michigan Ave. in Chicago.

The memo, dated June 29, 2022, was written by Victoria Gillespie, the chief marketing and communications officer of the organization until this March, and was addressed to Donna Gland, NAR’s head of human resources, Inman reports.

Gillespie named Parcell in the memo, alleging he threatened to kill himself after a staffer complained to HR about being removed from a project, according to TRD. Two female employees accused him of sending an inappropriate picture of himself wearing a Realtor belt buckle, which was included in the memo.

“I sent the pictures to both male and female staffers,” Parcell told Inman. “The pictures were of a belt buckle I had designed and was excited to give away when I was President.”

Within days of receiving the 2022 memo, the organization “hired an independent, outside investigator,” NAR spokesperson Mantill Williams told Inman in a statement. NAR then tapped law firm Polsinelli to investigate misconduct allegations. That 2022 investigation found evidence of “creepy” and “disrespectful” behavior at the trade group, Inman reported.

In the August NYT report, one woman said Parcell put his hands down his pants in front of her. Another said he sent her a picture of his crotch, and a third said Parcell retaliated against her after she ended a consensual sexual relationship with him. 

Over two dozen employees and former leaders at the association and its affiliates told the NYT that the organization didn't act after years of complaints about sexual harassment, discrimination and retribution by Parcell and other leaders at the company.