At least two female employees complained to senior officials about inappropriate behavior by Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain during Cain’s tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, Politico reports.
According to reports, the women complained about sexually suggestive behavior by Cain which eventually led them to leave their jobs.
In a series of comments over the past 10 days, Cain and his campaign repeatedly declined to respond directly about whether he ever faced allegations of sexual harassment at the restaurant association.
The women, sources told Politico, received five-figure payouts to leave the association and keep their mouths shut.
“I happen to know there were sealed settlements reached in the plural. I think that anybody who thinks this was a one-time, one-person transgression would be mistaken,” a source told Politico.
A former board member of the restaurant association recalled learning of one of the women’s departure from the group at a 1999 board meeting and trade expo in Chicago.
“She was offered a financial package to leave the association and she did,” the ex-board member told Politico. “What I took offense at was that it was clear that rather than deal with the issue, there was an effort to hush it up. She was offered a way out to keep quiet.”