Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Credibility? - UPDATED

In Quick Hits, I referenced that one of Herman Cain accusers had filed a complaint at her next job, about 3 years after she filed her complaint against Cain while both were employed by the National Restaurant Association.  According to Herman Cain, her claim was investigated and found to be 'baseless'.  Cain further classified the $45,000 payment she received as not a settlement or a determination of liability, but a personnel agreement related to Kraushaar's departure from the National Restaurant Association.

ABC News is reporting some additional details on her demands with this subsequent complaint which was filed while she was working for the Department of Justice's Immigration and Naturalization Service

Kraushaar was injured in a car accident at an intersection in late 2002. After the accident, Kraushaar asked to be allowed to work from home. She filed the complaint when her repeated requests to work at home were denied, according to a former supervisor. The former supervisor told ABC News that Kraushaar wanted a "large payout" of tens of thousands of dollars, a year-long fellowship at Harvard, a raise and the reinstatement of sick leave.
Also noted was that she was upset about a sexually charged email being sent out by one of her managers, but the complaint is not being defined as being specifically about sexual harassment but about 'unfair treatment' - not being allowed to work from home.

Her demands of her employer are also quite interesting.  A "'large payout' of tens of thousands of dollars, a year-long fellowship at Harvard, a raise, and the reinstatement of sick leave" that she had used?!  As Ace from Ace of Spades notes, 'No pony?'

That is quite a wish list of demands to make on the basis of being denied the ability to work from home.

What also is telling are the comments within the ABC News report of comments by a former supervisor of Karen Kraushaar, who described himself as a Democrat, and was one of the one's named in the complaint. This supervisor alleges that Kraushaar had a 'poor work ethic' and that he has 'doubts about her credibility'.  Another supervisor, who also worked with Kraushaar at the INS, reported the opposite about her.  This one, Maria Cardona, said that she was 'an ideal employee' whose credibility was 'beyond reproach'.

Does this information fundamentally change the dynamic around Herman Cain and his accusers?  For some, I think it will.  It damages the credibility of Karen Kraushaar if she is seen as someone who uses these types of complaints against her employers and demands compensation that is far closer to a Christmas List than reasonable requests.  The differences in comments by the two supervisors who commented on Kraushaar is basically a wash - we don't know enough about their credibility or motives to determine which opinion towards Kraushaar is the more valid. 

At this point, I am leaning towards providing Herman Cain with the benefit of the doubt.  Both Sharon Bialek and Karen Kraushaar have motives and challenges around the veracity of their complaints.  Bialek remained silent for 14 years regarding her complaint and appeared only after Gloria Allred spent nearly a week seeking a client just like Bialek.  Her past financial challenges and issues also contribute towards a credibility challenge.  Kraushaar appears to be someone who has little hesitation to file complaints and make substantial demands on those complaints.  It also appears she has a low threshold as to what can cause her to file a complaint.  I have to question the veracity of those complaints given this additional information.

Unfortunately, none of this is going to undo the damage done.  The story will continue to be significant as those who have complaints against Herman Cain will not back down.

UPDATE - According to this information, Sharon Bialek also apparently has a financial interest in stepping forward with Attorney Allred (who's paying her bill or is this contingency / pro bono since it's a political hit) to present her charges against Herman Cain.

Sharon Bialek’s fiance — who said he is her primary source of financial support — is unemployed and preparing to file for bankruptcy, according to Lake County court documents reviewed Tuesday by the Tribune. And in Cook County, lawsuits show she has been targeted by creditors who claimed she owed them thousands in unpaid rent, personal loans and credit card bills…

Her fiance, Mark Harwood, told the Tribune on Monday that Bialek did not have any current money problems. Harwood, who records show recently left his job in the medical equipment industry, said he supports her financially so she can stay at home with her 13-year-old son.

In court proceedings between Harwood and his ex-wife, Patricia, her lawyers stated last month that Harwood was unemployed and preparing to file for bankruptcy. Harwood could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Combined with the other questions regarding Bialek, her credibility is going to suffer even more.  I don't consider Cain exonerated, but this is looking more and more like a smear job started by the left leaning Politico to damage one of the GOP front runners and that Cain's claim that these charges are 'baseless' closer to being the case.

Update Hat Tip -Hot Air (Allahpundit)

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