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Karen Kraushaar called Cain a "monster," her former supervisor says

Karen Kraushaar
This March 2000 image from video shows then-Immigration and Naturalization Service spokesperson Karen Kraushaar at a news conference in Miami regarding Elian Gonzalez. AP Photo

A former supervisor of Karen Kraushaar, one of the women to accuse Herman Cain of sexual harassment in the 1990s, said Wednesday that Kraushaar recently described the Republican presidential candidate as a "monster."

Maria Cardona, Kraushaar's former supervisor at the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), called Kraushaar when she learned her former employee was one of the women to accuse the White House hopeful of harassment. Cardona recalled the conversation in which Kraushaar thanked her former boss for her support during a difficult period in her life.

"Maria, now you know why I have always been so grateful to you, you saved me from this monster," Kraushaar said, according to Cardona. Cardona was the person who hired Kraushaar to work at the INS. Cardona now works as a Democratic strategist for the Dewey Square Group and served as a senior adviser to the Hillary Clinton for President campaign.

Maria Cardona
Maria Cardona is a former supervisor of Karen Kraushaar, one of the women to accuse Herman Cain of sexual harassment in the 1990s. Maria Cardona

Cardona told the CBS News Investigative Unit that Kraushaar was "nothing but professional" at the INS -- in spite of suggestions that Kraushaar may have been overzealous in filing workplace complaints.

Kraushaar filed a formal complaint against Cain in 1999, when he was head of the National Restaurant Association. Her complaint is one of a handful of sexual harassment charges from the 1990's that are now plaguing Cain's bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Cain has denied all the allegations, and he sought to discredit the first woman who came out with accusations publicly, Sharon Bialek, in part by pointing to the several civil lawsuits in which Bialek was a defendant.

Now, the Associated Press is reporting that that three years after she filed a complaint against Cain, Kraushaar filed a workplace complaint at her next job at the INS. Kraushaar charged that the INS should have allowed her to work from home after a serious car accident and accused a manager of of circulating a sexually charged email.

Kraushaar told the AP she considered the INS complaint "relatively minor" and she later dropped it. "The concern was that there may have been discrimination on the job and that I was being treated unfairly," she said.

Cardona said she was not aware of the complaint that Kraushaar filed at the INS, but she feels compelled to stand up for her former employee. She described Kraushaar as "classy, private," and a "consummate team player."

Additional reporting by Laura Strickler

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