AP Exclusive: Cain accuser complained in next job

By Suzanne Gamboa

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 9 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

FILE - This December 1999 image from video shows then-Immigration and Naturalization Service spokesperson Karen Kraushaar at a news conference in Miami regarding Elian Gonzalez. The Associated Press has chosen to publish Kraushaar's name, after independently confirming she was one of the accusers who filed sexual harassment complaints against Herman Cain when she and Cain worked at a restaurant trade group.

APTN, Associated Press

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.

The Cain campaign projected an air of business as usual with the release of his first TV ad of the season and the announcement that he will appear on the "Late Show with David Letterman" on Nov. 18.

Cain also was appearing Wednesday night at a GOP candidates' debate in Michigan.

The 60-second ad, airing only in Iowa, amplifies Cain's oft-repeated claim that the Environmental Protection Agency is hurting farmers by attempting to regulate methane gas from livestock and agricultural dust. The EPA under President Barack Obama has said it has no such plans.

And the campaign announced an endorsement from Georgia state Sen. Renee Unterman, a Republican woman whose backing comes as Cain works to steady support among female voters amid increasingly graphic sexual harassment allegations.

Democrats were beginning to speak up on Cain.

The party's national chair, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, said at a news conference before the debate, "They are very serious allegations and he must be called to account and be specific in his response to those allegations. He has not done that to date."

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.

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