Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The Circus Continues

Now we know the identity of the woman who was awarded a cash settlement of about $45,000 when she was relieved of her job at the National Restaurant Assn. She is Karen Kraushaar, and she would like a joint press conference with Sharon Bialek in order to present a "body of evidence" against Herman Cain. So get ready for the women to show up together in front of the microphones, along with their two lawyers.

Who is Karen Kraushaar? She is the woman represented by the lawyer we heard from earlier, Lawyer Joel Bennett. The one who said she didn't see any value in coming forward, wanted to stay anonymous, and simply wanted to live her life. Evidently she's changed her mind. The National Restaurant Assn. waived her confidentiality agreement in the case so that she could come forward. As far as I can tell, although this is unclear since it's a question that apparently doesn't interest anyone in the media, Kraushaar's lawyer was the one who asked the NRA that his client be released from the confidentiality agreement--although she was obviously for at least a week before talking on background to the people at Politico, so how that didn't violate the agreement is a little bit confusing to me. Anyway, the NRA waived the agreement, so now of course the woman is talking. --Yes, there's a story that Joel Bennett, on behalf of his client Karen Kraushaar, requested that she be released from the confidentiality agreement.

Kraushaar is currently a federal employee, working as a spokesperson for the Inspector General of the IRS. She is a Brown graduate with a master's degree from the U of Michigan and has worked as a career federal government official for various federal agencies.

It might also be instructive to add that after settling the sexual harrassment complaint against Herman Cain in her job with the National Restaurant Assn. in 1999, she went on to work as spokesperson at the Immigration and Naturalization Service at the Justice Department. It was in that job, in 2002 or early 2003 and with the assistance of the same Lawyer Joel Bennett who successfully got her a five-figure settlement in 1999, she again filed a workplace grievance, this time for job discrimination. Maybe it would have seemed too much like a "pattern" to be accusing her boss of sexual discrimination two jobs in a row.

In her second job-related suit, Kraushaar was asking for thousands of dollars in a cash settlement, a reinstatment of leave she used after a car accident in 2002 (which as a federal employee would mean $$ in her pocket), promotion on the federal pay scale (more $$ in her pocket), and a one-year fellowship to Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. This was according to a former supervisor familiar with the complaint. The promotion alone would have increased her salary between $12,000 and $16,000 per year. The complaint was based on Kraushaar's supervisors denying her request to work full time from home (how exactly would you do that if you are a spokesperson for a department--just asking). Included in the complaint against her supervisors was an email, cited by Lawyer Bennett as objectionable, circulated by one of her managers, comparing computers to women and men. This was one of those joke lists that arrive in a person's email box every day: women are like computers because even your smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for later retrieval.

You can't blame a girl for trying, since it had worked for her ($$) at the NRA. However, this time she and Lawyer Bennett were unsuccessful, and she dropped the complaint in 2003 and went to work at the Treasury Dept.

Interestingly, Karen doesnt seem to have quite the memory for this second unsuccessful workplace lawsuit that she does for the one against Herman Cain. She says she considers the complaint "relatively minor" (really?--well, maybe she does; maybe in her world a workplace lawsuit is a normal, minor way of responding to conflicts at work); however, she said in an interview on Tuesday that she "doesn't remember" details about the complaint, doesnt remember asking for a payment, a promotion, or a Harvard fellowship. She told the AP reporter that the complaint at the immigration service was "nobody's business" because it had nothing to do with her settlement with the NRA. Lawyer Bennett declined to discuss the case with the AP reporter, citing confidentiality.

You can't make this stuff up. h/t to AP Exclusive: Accuser Filed Complaint in Next Job.

Here's a newsflash for you, Karen. Like it or not, engaging in a workplace lawsuit in two jobs in a row within five years says something about how you roll as an employee. You come across as a person looking to put money in your pocket at someone else's expense. You come across as a cranky, dissatisfied malcontent. Now maybe you just had a lot of bad luck in a couple of jobs. Maybe Herman Cain really did sexually harass you. Maybe you really were treated unfairly in your next job. However, in my experience, the kinds of people who file workplace grievances are the worst sort of people to have to work with. That's just me.

Seriously, it's time for the NRA to release the non-redacted report of what Herman Cain was accused of doing and the findings of same. This he-said, she-said crap has gone on long enough.

Update. The Los Angeles Times confirms that Gloria Allred and Lawyer Joel Bennett will hold a joint news conference with their clients, time and place to be announced. Bennett says that his client will hold a joint news conference with as many of the women who complained of sexual harassment by Herman Cain who will participate. They are evidently hoping that by banning together they can establish a pattern of bad behavior. Evidently the irony of their clients' patterns of bad behavior is lost on the two attorneys. The statute of limitations has run out on any of these charges--but wait!--better than a court of law is the court of public opinion, where allegation and innuendo are the only proof needed.

Update #2. Not to be outdone by the accusers' high profile attorneys, Herman Cain has hired L. Lin Wood Jr. to advise/represent him. Wood is a libel and defamation lawyer who has represented other high profile clients. He is said to be highly respected within the legal community and very good at what he does. Frankly, I wouldn't really want to be in Karen Kraushaar's shoes, represented by ambulance chaser Lawyer Joel Bennett.

In a 2005 interview, Wood said, I believe that courts, since the 1964 decision in the New York Times v. Sullivan, have steadily eroded the ability of individuals and entities to redress false attacks on reputation by overemphasizing the need to safeguard First Amendment rights.

As usual, the media seems to have missed the real story of Cain's news conference. The fact that Cain has hired Wood, a high-powered attorney who has a reputation for competence, persistence, and aggressiveness, ought to be giving the other side pause. Herman Cain has hired one of the best libel and defamation lawyers in the country. This thing isn't over yet.

Update #3. Evidently what Karen did in her job at the Justice Dept. isn't all that uncommon for women (and I wonder if it's just women) working for the federal government. I wish we had some real journalists who were actually curious about these kinds of things who would look into how many of these sorts of suits or complaints get filed every year in the federal government. Anyway, this is from a commenter at GatewayPundit:

This is and was a common career ladder for many women in the Federal Government. Filing a complaint once or twice usually got their careers jump started and they were able to climb to their current grade level. All it takes is one or two successful attempts. If one looks really hard, they’ll probably find another complaint filed by this woman somewhere along the line.

A one-year fellowship to Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government usually included not only their full pay for the full year but also included per diem expenses for food and housing. Not a bad arrangement on the tax payers dime.

One should ask what grade level she is. I’ll bet it’s in the very high level range.

Update #4. Doubling Down. So days ago she was so media shy she wouldn't give out her name. Sometime between then and now, Karen Kraushaar found her voice, doubling down on her history with Cain, telling ABC that Herman Cain is a "monster." And this is rich. Now she says that the reason she didn't want her name to be used is because she fears "retaliation" from Cain supporters. Darlin', you have the wrong party. That would be Democrats who would retaliate. OK, Cain is a monster. Would you care to elaborate on that, Karen? I guess not. ABC evidently decided not to print whatever else, if anything, she said. I guess information from these women will continue to dribble out, bit by bit, which is the strategy. This woman is starting to tick me off.

. . . . Like I said, dribs and drabs. ABC News has printed a longer article with a few more details. The Lawyer Joel Bennett now says that the complaint about the "monster" [I added that, he didn't] involved "multiple" unwanted advances by Cain over the course of "at least a month or two." Nothing further in the article about the "monster" characterization. You know, the guy at Penn State who was sodomizing little boys--I would characterize him as a "monster." A serial killer like Ted Bundy was a "monster." If what Cain was doing to her actually came up to the standard of monstrous, then clearly there would be people who would remember such over-the-top behavior. And also, this sort of thing by Cain wouldn't be a one-off; there would be women lined up around the block with similar complaints.

Am I the only one who would like to see Cain's fellow candidates come out at the debate tonight and defend him?

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