The more we discover about alleged harassment "victim" Karen Kraushaar, the less credible she appears to be. For a woman who accuses Herman Cain of being a "serial denier," it sure seems like she might be a serial complainer. ABC News reports:
Karen Kraushaar, who settled a sexual harassment complaint against Republican presidential frontrunner Herman Cain in 1999, filed a different complaint at her next job four years later, accusing a manager of sending out a sexually suggestive email and asking to be allowed to work at home after a car accident. Kraushaar made the complaint, which did not involve a claim of sexual harassment, while working at the Immigration and Naturalization Service in 2003. Her lawyer was Joel Bennett, the same lawyer who had handled her harassment complaint against Herman Cain at the National Restaurant Association.
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.
Oh, that's all, Karen? Are you sure you didn't deserve a brand new car and an all-expense-paid trip to Hawaii, too? With that sort of entitled, borderline-extortionary mentality, it's no wonder her former supervisor has a rather dim view of her:
Kraushaar's former supervisor at the INS, who was named in Kraushaar's complaint, characterized the 2003 complaint to ABC News as "frivolous," and said Kraushaar may have been offered a few extra sick days as compensation. The supervisor alleged that Kraushaar had a "poor work ethic." The supervisor, a self-described Democrat, decided to speak out about Kraushaar's complaint because of "doubts about her credibility."
A woman who began to become accustomed to the idea of getting paid not to work may have had a "poor work ethic"? Go figure. That might explain why Ms. Kraushaar initially wanted to remain anonymous. Then again, the supervisor who's dumping on her anonymously may still be bitter that she named him in her complaint. And 'round and 'round we go. The good news is that now that she's orchestrating an our-powers-combined press conference with fellow accusers, she'll have the opportunity to answer questions about her own pattern of demanding large sums of money to salve her offended sensibilities. Have fun with that.
A few words of caution: This does not mean that Kraushaar's allegations, whatever they may be, are baseless -- nor does any of this exonerate Herman Cain of wrongdoing, or erase his campaign's atrocious handling of this wreckage. But it absolutely is another relevant data point to consider as we try to piece together an idea of what may have happened, and assess the credibility of the drama's expanding cast of characters. Kraushaar may have been subjected to degrading and inappropriate treatment, for which she was justly compensated. Or she might just be an opportunistic freeloader.