GAR Directors perform community service
I finally got ahold of the grievance filed against me by Ruth Le Blanc Jones and I see that in fact, it was dated almost a year ago, September 6, 2013, and filed at that time with the Greenwich Association of Realtors. That fine institution dithered with it for months and then on its own, “met and referred the ethics complaint alleging a violation of Article 15, along with amending the complaint to include Article 12 [emphasis added] to the Professional Standards Committee for hearing.”
Well. You should know that the Grievance Committee of the GAR has it within its powers to dismiss a grievance brought by a realtor against another realtor. The fact that my peers not only refused to dismiss this silly claim but took it upon themselves to add a second count and pass it up the ladder to the Professional Standards Committee seems significant, to me.
What part of the Code of Ethics do Ruth Le Blanc Jones and the GAR consider to have been violated by my linking to a newspaper’s report on her arrest for real estate fraud? Articles 15 and (according to the complaint as amended by the GAR), Article 12, which provide in part,
Article 15 “Realtors shall not knowingly or recklessly make false or misleading statements about other real estate professionals, their businesses or their business practices”.
Article 12,”Realtors shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing and other representations.” (Any normal person, reading Article 12, would think that the GAR will soon be turning in its own member firms for violating this rule, but don’t count on it).
So, according to the Greenwich Association of Realtors, it is a violation of their code of ethics to accurately link to a newspaper’s report that another real estate agent has been arrested for a “real estate scam conspiracy”. It is, apparently , a violation of that same ethics code for a blogger to permit a comment from Nancy Healy, former president of the Greenwich Association of Realtors and former head of the Grievance Committee, that pointed out that Ruth Le Blanc Jones illegally collected an excessive rental security deposit from the scammed tenant.
By the GAR’s reasoning, I have violated their code by, in the past, reporting stories involving agents who used a client’s vacant house to screw in, agents arrested for embezzling clients’ funds, agents arrested for drunk driving while escorting clients around town, and so forth. If it involves fellow realtor, says the GAR, you mustn’t speak about it, especially if it’s true.
This is the same association that operates a monopoly on Greenwich Real Estate and, in furtherance of that monopoly, has removed all past history of real estate sales from public view. They are referring me to the ethics board? Right.