Posted at 09:57 AM ET, 11/03/2011

Herman Cain’s spending at National Restaurant Association drew scrutiny from board

A nugget in Bloomberg’s Thursday story on the Cain harassment accusations reveals that Cain’s “lavish spending” while head of the National Restaurant Association drew criticism from that body’s board.

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain wipes his brow as he speaks at the Congressional Health Caucus Thought Leaders Series, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Carolyn Kaster - AP)
Bloomberg’s Lisa Lerer spoke to former National Restaurant Association employees and reported: “Cain was known for lavish spending, they said, racking up cellphone and travel bills that drew accountants’ attention and angered some board members . . .

“There were few checks on Cain’s travel budget as he traveled to chapters across the country, said one former employee.”

The organization also footed the bill for Cain to live for a time in the luxurious Jefferson Hotel, in downtown Washington, D.C., while Cain’s family remained in Georgia.

The increased scrutiny of Cain’s life before his 2012 bid for the GOP presidential nomination comes after reports that two former National Restaurant Association employees filed sexual harassment charges against him and received settlements. A third former employee came forward Wednesday to report what she called unwanted, sexually aggresive behavior from Cain during the time she worked for him in the late 1990s.

By Beth Marlowe  |  09:57 AM ET, 11/03/2011

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