Denice Reich, a prominent Denver-area realtor, has been dumped by RE/MAX Alliance after a post on Nextdoor accusing her of removing Black Lives Matters signs from yards in the Hilltop neighborhood.
When reached by phone on August 19, Reich, who pronounces her last name "Rich," told Westword that she would send a statement about the situation that afternoon, adding, "We want the truth out, not the bullshit." While no statement has yet arrived, Reich subsequently told Denver7 that she removed two BLM placards, not the six to eight claimed on Nextdoor, because "the signs were as offensive as 'KKK' signs," and insisted she returned them a few hours later. She also called Black Lives Matter "a 'terrorist organization' out to destroy America."
According to Westword sources, there's a lot more to the story than that. For one thing, Reich reportedly suggested to one person who confronted her that she'd grabbed the placards in retaliation for the theft of pro-Donald Trump signage from her yard, as if the current president were running for re-election against BLM, not Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. For another, we're told that one of the signs had a new addition when it was returned: an accusatory sticker about Marxism.
This isn't the first time Reich has made news. The 1994 Westword feature article "Off the Record" refers to her as a "millionaire Cherry Hills property baroness" who "won sympathy from wealthy people everywhere by filing a lawsuit against her nanny several years ago." (Westword's coverage of that complaint predates the start of our Internet archive.) She's also a contributor to the Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle, a publication whose editorial stance is typically just to the right of Genghis Khan. "What Is Happening to Our City?," her column in the Chronicle's August edition, decries homeless encampments by way of rhetorical questions such as "Since when do people who do not work or pay taxes have the privileged status of destroying our beloved city without consequences?" and bashes demonstrators against police abuse with the line "These non-productive citizens have made a choice to not recognize the opportunities America offers to many."
The latest brouhaha took place early on August 1, when sources say a neighborhood dog walker saw Reich pluck up multiple Black Lives Matter yard signs and toss them in the back of her white Lexus SUV. She allegedly told the dog walker about the theft of her Trump sign, and verbally connected Black Lives Matters to Marxism.
The story got around the neighborhood quickly. Before long, the Crestmoor Home Owners Association emailed its hundreds of members a message that encouraged anyone whose Black Lives Matter signs had been snatched to contact the group, since "I have an idea where they might be and, if the person who took them is reading this, do not attempt to hide or destroy these signs. I, and others, know you have them and I suggest you keep them in a safe place for the moment!!!"
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This email didn't mention Reich by name, but the Nextdoor post did, and included her contact information. The post quickly blew up, with the majority of commenters putting Reich on blast.
When all this went down, Chad Ochsner, the owner of RE/MAX Alliance, was on vacation. He learned about what happened on August 2, and the next day, he ended Reich's business relationship with the brokerage. Ochsner stresses that "Denice still has the right to conduct her real estate business affiliating with another company. But RE/MAX Alliance will not support and will not condone someone who takes another person's property, and who trespasses in doing so."
Oschner confirms that he had a conversation with Reich before lowering the boom, and while he declines to share the content of that chat, he stands by the termination, which he says had nothing to do with politics. "I don't care if one of our realtors was stealing Trump signs or Black Lives Matter Signs or taking rival high school graduation signs out of yards," he notes. "It doesn't matter what they took. It's the trespassing and the theft we will not tolerate."
He adds: "I find the whole thing to be very sad. Denice was a prominent realtor, and it's too bad this is going to be her legacy. She made a very poor judgment call, and she's now reaping the consequences."