Cain accuser complained in next job

By Suzanne Gamboa

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 9 2011 11:35 a.m. MST

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks to reporters about the sexual misconduct allegations against him, during a press conference at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Cain said Tuesday that he would not drop his bid for the Republicans’ presidential nomination in the face of decade-old allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior.

The Arizona Republic, Nick Oz) MAGS OUT;, Associated Press

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WASHINGTON — Three years after Karen Kraushaar settled her sexual harassment complaint against Herman Cain and quit the trade association where they worked, she filed another complaint at her new job. She argued that supervisors there unfairly denied her request to work from home after a car accident and accused one of them of circulating a sexually oriented email, The Associated Press has learned.

Kraushaar, 55, says she later dropped the complaint that she filed while working as a spokeswoman at the Immigration and Naturalization Service in late 2002 or early 2003 and left the agency to take a job at the Treasury Department. She says she considered the immigration service complaint "relatively minor."

But three former supervisors say the allegations, which did not include a sexual harassment claim, were investigated and treated seriously. Two former supervisors say she initially demanded a settlement of thousands of dollars, a promotion on the federal pay scale, reinstated leave time and a one-year fellowship to Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. The promotion itself would have increased her annual salary between $12,000 and $16,000, according to salary tables in 2002 from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Details of the second complaint come as Kraushaar says she will provide specifics about the allegations she made against Cain, the GOP businessman now running for president who led the National Restaurant Association when she worked there. She is reaching out to three other Cain accusers, suggesting they can schedule a joint news conference to rebut Cain's insistence that he has never sexually harassed anyone.

Cain's campaign said news of Kraushaar's complaint at the immigration service and details about another accuser's financial problems were "interesting revelations."

"We hope that the court of public opinion will take this into consideration as they, the women, continue to try to keep this story alive," spokesman J.D. Gordon said in a statement Wednesday.

When Kraushaar filed her immigration service complaint against supervisors in late 2002 or early 2003, she turned to Joel Bennett, the same Washington lawyer who handled her earlier sexual harassment complaint against Cain.

"The concern was that there may have been discrimination on the job and that I was being treated unfairly," Kraushaar said.

Kraushaar said she did not remember details about the complaint and did not remember asking for a payment, a promotion or a fellowship. Bennett declined to discuss the case with the AP, saying he considered it confidential.

Kraushaar now works as a spokeswoman in the office of the Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration.

Her complaint at the immigration service was based on supervisors denying her request to work fulltime from home after a serious car accident in 2002, three former supervisors said. Two of them said Kraushaar also had been denied previous requests to work from home before the car accident.

The complaint also cited as objectionable an email that a manager had circulated comparing computers to men and women, a former supervisor said. The complaint contended that the email, based on humor widely circulated on the Internet, was sexually explicit, according to the supervisor, who did not have a copy of the email. The joke circulated online lists reasons men and women are like computers, including that men are because "in order to get their attention, you have to turn them on." Women are like computers, it says, because "even your smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for later retrieval."

Kraushaar told the AP that she remembered the complaint focusing on supervisors denying her the opportunity to work from home after her car accident. She said other employees were allowed to work from home.

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