Former CAR President Bob Floss Sues CAR and President/Board Members, Class Action Suit to Follow

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Bob Floss, the former president of the Chicago Association of Realtors, has filed a lawsuit against CAR, its president and 2011-2012 board members.


Bob Floss, the former president of the Chicago Association of Realtors (CAR), has filed a lawsuit against CAR, 16 board members from CAR’s 2011-2012 Board of Directors and the association’s president, and is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 for each of the lawsuit’s 22 counts.

Details about the lawsuit include:

  • Floss is seeking damages of $50,000 (plus costs, attorney’s fees and additional relief) for each count from the association, President Ginger Downs and 16 of the 18 board members of CAR’s 2011-2012 Board of Directors.
  • The board members named in the suit are Rafael Alvarado; William Stegeman; Wayne Caplan; Dan Wagner; Zeke Morris; Mabel Guzman; Hugh Rider; Juan Del Real; Kathy Kalnes; Lauren Mitrick; Matthew Farrell; Mike Sato; Ron Abrams; Sarah Coulter; Matthew Silver; and Tammy Hajjar.
  • The two board members not named in the suit are Gregory Kosin of Greater Illinois Title Company and Will Crowden, the CommercialForum Director for Jameson Commercial Real Estate. “It was my choice not to sue them,” Floss said.
  • Floss also said that he is planning a second lawsuit against CAR, a class-action suit that will target the association’s finances. Three individuals, he said, are needed for a class action suit, and along with him and his son, Bob Floss II, there is a third participating Realtor, though he declined to name the individual.

In a statement to Chicago Agent, Peter Friedman, CAR’s general counsel and a partner in the Chicago office of Holland & Knight, stated on behalf of the association and the board of directors that though they are disappointed in the complaint, they are confident they acted appropriately in dismissing Floss.

“We are disappointed that Mr. Floss has taken this unnecessary action,” the association statement read. “The CAR board of directors acted responsibly, respectfully and pursuant to its bylaws. While we have not yet been served with the complaint, we are confident that if the litigation proceeds, the facts will show that the claims are without merit and that the association acted appropriately and in the best interests of the membership.”

Floss Looking for ‘Closure’ with Lawsuit

The lawsuit, Floss told Chicago Agent, stems from his 2012 impeachment, in which the association, under a majority vote from the board, removed Floss from his presidency under harassment charges and replaced him with Morris, the 2011-2012 president-elect and current president of CAR.

In a story originally broken by Chicago Agent, Floss alleged that he was removed from his presidency because of his investigation of CAR’s finances, particularly the Northern Illinois Real Estate Information Network (NIREIN), a for-profit referral and holding company owned by CAR, and his complaint, which can be read in full here, makes similar allegations, though Floss said he had another reason for filing the suit – bringing closure to his disputes with CAR.

“This is not a spiteful decision – I want closure,” Floss said, who is also the broker/owner of Bob Floss & Son Realty in Countryside. “This is a situation between myself and the Chicago Association of Realtors.”

Filing the lawsuit, Floss said, will allow his attorneys to question the 16 named board members individually, and for the true reasons to emerge for why he was removed from his presidency.

“I want to know what kind of picture was painted about me,” Floss said, referring to the private board meetings that led to his impeachment.

Floss finally added that he is not scared of a countersuit from the association.

“If I was worried about that, I wouldn’t have [filed the suit]” he said. “I’ve got absolutely nothing to hide.”

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