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Posted on Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:59 p.m.

Former colleagues say Ann Arbor native who accused Cain of harassment is credible

By Cindy Heflin


Karen Kraushaar

AP photo

Former colleagues of the Ann Arbor native who once accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment remember her as a serious and highly competent journalist.

Karen Kraushaar, formerly Karen Grassmuck, was a reporter at The Ann Arbor News in the 1980s.

"Karen is intelligent, competent, professional, and totally credible,” former News reporter Stephen Cain wrote in a Facebook message to “There is nothing in how she presented herself that would indicate she would be approachable in any other than a professional manner. To me, that says that Cain's arrogance and sense of self-absorbed entitlement knows no bounds."

Geoff Larcom, now a spokesman for Eastern Michigan University, said he could shed no light on the harassment allegations but, like Stephen Cain, had a positive impression of Kraushaar and her work.

“I remember her as a serious and diligent and sort of forward-thinking colleague, who had her eyes set on the possibilities the world of journalism offered,” Larcom said.

Kraushaar’s father, the late George Grassmuck, taught political science at the University of Michigan. Kraushaar is the co-author of a children’s book, “Gas Station Charlie” which is based on a beloved golden retriever who carried credit cards and cash between customers and the attendant at a Saline gas station.

Kraushaar, 55, now a spokeswoman for the U.S. Treasury Department, was identified Tuesday as one of two women who received settlements when they worked with Cain at the National Restaurant Association more than a decade ago. Cain has called the accusations baseless.

News reports today quoted Kraushaar as saying Cain could be described as a “monster” and that she would like to have a news conference with other women who say Cain harassed them. She said she has not heard from the other women.

The Associated Press today reported that Kraushaar also complained about unfair treatment while she worked at the Immigration and Naturalization Service, after leaving the restaurant association.

In that complaint, she said she should be allowed to work from home after a serious car accident and accused a manager of circulating a sexually charged email. She later dropped the complaint.

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Ming Bucibei

Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 4:10 p.m.

Long time passed, she said he said-- way passed its sell by date!! Ming bucibei


Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 5:15 a.m.

She's not the only one that's accusing.Where there's smoke there's usually fire to one degree or another.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 6:31 p.m.

The Taste of the Pudding is in the Eating : I am not convinced about the journalistic talent of this lady who may have worked at The Ann Arbor News. I was a regular reader of The Ann Arbor News and I would appreciate if could reprint a story published by this former news reporter. She has now described Mr Cain as a "Monster". This basically displays her lack of journalisitc temperament, and she is totally devoid of what may be called professionalism. She must have the ability to choose the right words and communicate to readers the description of acts and leave it to the judgment of readers to interpret those acts. Her failure to communicate in a responsible and effective manner establishes that she deserves to be known as a yellow journalist. Unfortunately, the Murdoch Scandal has revealed the lack of professional standards in this community of writers and credibility is the biggest challenge that Journalists are facing today.

Lets Get Real

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 3:31 p.m.

Stephen Cain's statement about Herman Cain is totally inappropriate - HIS opinion about someone who has worked his entire life to build businesses that employ people. No entitlement - hard work. Arrogance defined by one could be interpreted as confidence by another. One doesn't find the success he has by being weak. I'm not sure he is the right person to be our president - I have a favorite candidate - but the frenzy to attack this man is horrible. This woman's spots didn't change. Her little tactic to obtain a settlement was attempted again. Perhaps this says more about her than about him? It is all such a sad state of affairs. Has no one yet realized one doesn't elevate their own position by demeaning another.

A Voice of Reason

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 1:11 p.m.

I thought that she was credible too until I learned on the news this morning that she has a second incident and they settled with her too and helped her get into Harvard Kennedy School. Something is fishy though with both parties involved.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:01 p.m.

"I remember her as a serious and diligent and sort of forward-thinking colleague, who had her eyes set on the possibilities the world of journalism offered," Larcom said" Well, the world of lawsuits seems to have offered her more possibilities.


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : midnight

Didn't say it wasn't the truth. Just trying to figure out how you determined it is the truth, since, according to a previous article (link provided) : &quot;...The complaint at the immigration service was &quot;nobody's business,&quot; Kraushaar said. Actually, it seems to me that a complaint filed in the civil service IS the taxpayers business. But if you are privy to some other fact let us in on it. <a href=""></a> Filing lawsuits is a helluva way to make a livin'.

David Briegel

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:22 p.m.

Maybe it was the truth? Ever heard of that? Or you could take Shep's advice and not hire 51% of our population, you know, the Women!!


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 10:45 p.m.

Given the potential payoff, I would not be surprised if many women file fake sexual harassment claims. Who is going to stop them? Sexual harassment laws solved a real problem with managers demanding sex for promotions, raises, etc. or general malicious work environment at the expense of women. But like many laws, they have since degenerated to the point of absurdity. Companies are so afraid of legal costs and big jury awards, the requirement for a pervasive hostile work place has been replaced with a single &quot;offensive&quot; word, look or joke. The person allowed to define &quot;offensive&quot; is usually the one looking to leverage that offense into big bucks. The court is no longer seeking justice - enabling fraud. I am not a Cain supporter but if I was, these claims would not effect my vote one bit.

David Briegel

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:24 p.m.

Golly, if only we didn't have those pesky laws to get in the way of those saintly job creators!!


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 10:19 p.m.

Sorry, some things are not adding up. 1) the complaint at INS would not even make it out of the chute. Work at home regulations are ground ruled that it is to be a benefit for both the employee and employer. Having a &quot;press spokesman&quot; working at home, without direct contact with agency officials needing to make, craft, and discuss press releases would not be possible. The picture used in this article is an example. She is on scene in Florida during the Gonzalez raid, not at home. 2) if injuries sustained in her car accident prevented her from working, there is annual leave, sick leave, and leave banks (where other employees donate their unused leave to those needing it) to assist in her recovery. 3) she offered to settle her complaint for a promotion resulting in a $12-16K yearly salary increase. This can not be done unless she made claims that she was denied a promotion and she did not make such claims. She also would agree to settle her complaint if she received a year fellowship to the Harvard School of Government (which includes her salary, tuition, and living expenses in Boston for an academic year - totals over $75k). This program is highly competitive across all of the federal government. You don't get in, you don't even ask to get in, to settle a &quot;complaint&quot;. 4) The &quot;sexually charged e-mail&quot; was a lame parody on how men and women were compared to computers. 5) she dropped the complaints most likely when told there would be a snowballs chance in heck of getting it past the EEOC and the FERB.

David Briegel

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 9:54 p.m.

And not the first time his bosses had to pay money for Herman to PLAY! How can anyone defend someone who had 10 days to come up with a story and the best he can do is deny and lie. He didn't &quot;know&quot; who his bosses were paying/buying off? Delusion seems to be a common thread in some circles.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:48 p.m.

Saintly corporate lawyers? Sounds like civil servants couldn't handle her, either.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:41 p.m.

@ David Briegel &quot;All of you are asking to give equal treatment to a known LIAR. Cain has lied from the very start. He said he knew nothing about any of this.&quot; Was Pres Clinton a liar? Will you call him one now? Did you call for President Clinton to tell the truth? Remember? &quot;I did not have sexual relations with that woman...&quot; But some hold Cain to a higher standard. That is my definition of a hypocrite. If the accuser is willing to provide some details and has corroboration I will un-align myself with Cain

David Briegel

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:26 p.m.

Golly, you mean those saintly corporate owned lawyers couldn't handle that pesky blonde? Buying off Hermans dalliances! A noble cause!!


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 11:18 p.m.

And it's not the last time the accuser has filed a lawsuit.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 9:44 p.m.

Not her first time filing suits and demanding money and other compensation in return for her grievances. They should check into the other so-called credible complaintant.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 9:25 p.m.

Supposedly she was complaining about not being allowed to work from home though other co-workers doing similar work *were* allowed to work from home. Also the male version of the joke is arguably sexual, but the female version is more sexist. I won't repeat the joke, but it starts with why are men/women like a computer. Can't figure out what the Republicans dislike about Romney.

Ming Bucibei

Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 4:07 p.m.

Romney is a progressive RINO &amp; his father was a Gov Of MI I did not like his RINO father &amp; i do not like him!!


Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 7:51 a.m.

I can tell you what the Republicans don't like about Mitt Romney: he's &quot;too liberal&quot; and has a record of not following the (now famous) party line which says: Give nothing, take everything - in the name of Business.

average joe

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 9:22 p.m.

Stephen Cain says-&quot;To me, that says that Cain's arrogance and sense of self-absorbed entitlement knows no bounds.&quot; I don't know this woman, &amp; I don't know Herman Cain. But I doubt that S.Cain, based on what he knows about this woman, allows him to be an expert with his assessment of H. Cain. And I agree, the story doesn't tell the reader much.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 9:26 p.m.

much like Herman!


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 9:04 p.m.

Come on. This guy can sell you a $2.00 pizza for under ten bucks. They have to be lying.

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 8:58 p.m.

If I were to write this type of story, those are not the sources I would use. But I guess you need to protect your own. Might want to clarify that Cain and Cain are not related.

Cindy Heflin

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 10:17 p.m.

Indeed, they are not related.

Clinton Resident

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 8:14 p.m.

I thought this story was not very well thought out as it left out a lot of information. This is the first time reading this story and it has left me confused as to what all the details are.